Best-in-class collective training management
Exonaut has been used by armed forces for over 20 years to effectively plan, manage and assess military training exercises. Today it’s used by NATO, as well as Swedish, Australian, US Army, and US Marine Corps among others, for everything from sub-unit training to large-scale interoperability exercises with thousands of troops, such as Warfighter in the US. Much of the focus has been on collective training as commanders look to exploit data and make evidence-based decisions in order to improve the capabilities of units and divisions. However, individual performance has not been assessed and logged using the software to date.
Individual soldier performance
The British Army’s Collective Training Group (CTG) decided they wanted to take the next step in collective training management by tracking this data and engage individual soldiers more in the process. This would provide them – along with their colleagues and Commanders – with a much better indication of their capabilities, while increasing their motivation levels during training. Together, CTG and 4C Strategies took on the challenge of developing a solution that could be integrated with MIMIR which is where the concept of extending the existing Exonaut mobile app came from.
Overcoming technical challenges
When developing the app, 4C had to overcome some major challenges that come with the territory of working with high security military software. “Unlike many of today’s personalised tracking tools, which rely on the internet to gather and share data, we couldn’t do that,” continues Josh. “In many cases, the British Army’s collective training establishments are internet-free zones be it for security and/or geographical reasons, so we had to find smart ways to resolve this.”
The answer was to utilise different available data sources – such as the Army’s Tactical Engagement Simulation (TES) system – to provide the training progression picture. Both Commanders and soldiers can also log performance results during an exercise and follow the progression over the short- and long-term. This highlights in which areas a soldier excels and which areas they need to improve.
Broad feature set
Beyond tracking individual performance, MyMIMIR – as the solution has been named by the British Army – has a wide range of features. For instance, before an exercise, soldiers’ schedules and activity lists can be uploaded to the app so they know where they need to be and when. Questions sets, films and studies for viewing and completion during exercise downtime are also available, with more to come. Since it’s fully integrated with Exonaut, the performance data in MyMIMIR can be extracted to MIMIR to provide Commanders with aggregated views of their soldiers’ performance, with leadership boards and highlighted areas for attention. This aggerated data provides a more accurate status of training readiness or at the very least a more objective view of soldiers’ performance on an exercise.
Live field testing
MyMIMIR can be utilised across the entire Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) spectrum. Although only recently launched, it has already been put through its paces in exercises. Most recently by C Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh, during the live fire and tactical (TES) simulation phase of Exercise Tallin Dawn in Sennelager, Germany. During the seven-week exercise, data was recorded in MyMIMIR and soldiers could see their performance according to:
- Move – fitness levels
- Fighting – shooting accuracy and number of sustained hits
- Think – military annual training tests (MATTS) and battlefield studies
First-class user experience
“The feedback we receive from users in these exercises is important for the future development of MyMIMIR,” continues Josh. “Our team of developers, designers and military consultants will assess it and share it with our contacts at CTG, from which an agile release plan will be created moving forward that will deliver the optimal solution with a first-class user experience at soldier and commander level. I can also look to my own experience in the military and consider what data would have motivated me during training and exercises.”
A game-changer for collective training management
“It’s great to see soldiers engaging more with their training performance and becoming motivated to improve their results,” says Military Director for 4C Group, British Army, Brigadier (Ret’d) David Paterson. “Our team has worked hard to create a launch-ready solution and now it’s out there we’ve received a great response, both from soldiers and Commanders. I’m convinced that this technology can be a gamechanger for collective training management. Being able to combine individual performance with collective performance will deliver a competitive edge to all armed forces that utilise it.”
Data scientists at 4C are already exploring what is possible through machine learning as they look to grow the capabilities of MyMIMIR. Just as with the soldiers, the motivation is there to make it the best it can possibly be.