It’s been a little over four years since 4C Strategies established a U.S. presence, but the company is already working on its third military training management contract with the U.S. Army. We take a look at what lies behind the success of this rapid expansion.
In 2016, 4C Strategies began operating in the U.S. market. As a supplier of the world’s most advanced military training management software, Exonaut®, the company’s profile is well-established among some of the world’s armed forces. The British Army has been using Exonaut for its integrated Collective Training and Exercise Management System for over a decade. NATO uses Exonaut for its Electronic Military Training and Exercise Program where Exonaut has received NATO Unclassified and Secret Accreditation. However, until recently, the U.S. market proved elusive.
According to Mike Edqvist, VP 4C North America, “We always believed that Exonaut would be a great fit for the U.S. Armed Forces but, like with most things, the timing has to be right. And that time for us was when the U.S. Army announced they were going to explore the possibilities of developing a world-class Synthetic Training Environment (STE). We were convinced Exonaut could play a major role in this and worked hard to prove it.
“It was a proud moment for the entire team when we were selected as a sub-contractor to Bohemia Interactive Simulation (BISim) and Cole Engineering Services Inc. (CESI) for OTA 1.1. in 2018.”
Mike Edqvist, 4C Strategies VP 4C North America
OTA 1.1., Prototyping the “Art of the Possible” in Synthetic Training
The requirement of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) 1.1. was to push the limits to the “Art of the Possible” in order to define what the future of synthetic training could look like for U.S. Army. 4C Strategies tailored it’s Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Exonaut Training Management software to showcase Training Management capabilities as part of an integrated synthetic training solution. Exonaut was embedded into the combined simulator and warfare gaming prototype from BISim and CESI.
Following extensive testing and analysis of the final prototype, the U.S. Army defined its requirements for a new, end-to-end Exercise Planning and Assessment Capability (EPAC) Solution. 4C was awarded a prime contract to support this effort with the US Army.
Exonaut supports a variety of solutions around the world, with the main military focus being within the following domains:
Training Management: Collaborative, objective-based solution for training management
Training Evaluation, Assurance and Readiness: Data-driven solution delivering transparent insights from training data, performance, risk and readiness.
Experimentation: Integrated trial and experimentation solution, with real-time, evidence-based outputs.
Lessons Management: Collection, visualization and management of lessons, from identification to implementation.
Colonel (RET) Michael Coss, becomes President of 4C Strategies U.S.
In August 2017, Michael Coss – retired Colonel in the U.S. Army with experience supporting operations in the Balkans, Libya, South Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan – became 4C Strategies U.S. President. He brought unrivalled experience to the role, both in terms of his leadership capabilities and his military know-how. This has proven pivotal in building our understanding for U.S. Army doctrine and requirements for scale.
“Exonaut is a popular tool among military personnel because it has been developed together with the military, by former military personnel, like myself,” says Coss. “It’s a state-of-the-art tool that has been developed iteratively over the past 20 years based on the feedback and user experiences of Soldiers around the world. Most new features and innovations come from a clearly identified need from a military client. These are then implemented across the platform so that all users can benefit from them.”
Exonaut: Battle-tested in extreme environments
Exonaut has been battle tested under some extreme conditions. 4C Strategies is often contracted to deliver a contained training and management solution with a secure local network for live training. In the past this has meant operating in some of the most austere places in the world. Robustness is key to deploying a trouble-free solution that simply works in all environments.
EPAC, an end-to-end integrated system for Planning, Preparing, Executing and Assessing Training
In early 2019, 4C Strategies secured The U.S. Army Exercise Planning and Assessment Capability (EPAC) contract working together with CESI. The core EPAC requirement was to provide a realistic, digital representation of an operational Planning, Preparing, Executing and Assessment environment within the tactical command and control systems for higher Echelons, in a single integrated solution. “Exonaut is the ideal training management software to meet these end-to-end requirements and the US Army work has challenged us to really build the ability to scale into the core of our technology” explains Edqvist. “Its intuitive modules and dashboards facilitate quick onboarding of new users and support Soldiers conducting training, exercises, mission rehearsals, and experimentation, in virtual, constructive and live environments. Assessments are carried out in real-time during exercises and tagged to specific events, soldiers or units. Our AI further supports the assessment process by providing immediate visualization of key metrics and unit performance assessments, while generating automated recommendations.”
“Exonaut is the ideal training management software to meet these end-to-end requirements and the US Army work has challenged us to really build the ability to scale into the core of our technology”
CSE, supporting interoperability with the future Next Generation Constructive, Live Training Environment
In the summer of 2019, 4C Strategies secured its third and largest U.S. Army contract to date. The U.S. Army Common Synthetic Environment (CSE) contract, was awarded to leading modeling simulation software company VT MAK to build the Next Generation Virtual Training environment. Central to CSE is an integrated end-to-end Training Management Tool (TMT). A tailored version of Exonaut is currently under development by 4C Strategies to meet the TMT requirements together with partners in the VT MAK team. This includes a new user interface and the integration of U.S. Army doctrine workflows, applications and data sources. Once deployed, it will play a pivotal role in the U.S. Army’s Synthetic Training Environment (STE). “Exonaut continues to prove itself and be selected by the U.S. Army,” continues Edqvist. “It’s very user-friendly, with broad capabilities for effective training and assessment of soldier and unit performance. Once TMT is deployed, Commanders at all echelon levels, will be able to follow the synthetic training of their units in real-time to identify proficiency levels. Any observations can be noted and stored within the context of an exercise to support effective training feedback and training assessments. Missions can be rehearsed, reset, repeated, adjusted, and/or completed in real-time. Furthermore, recommended missions, analyses, and best practice can be shared with other units.”
“Exonaut continues to prove itself and be selected by the U.S. Army”
The service-oriented Exonaut platform supports custom solutions like CSE, but is also available as several integrated Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software component bundles to allow rapid implementation:
Readiness Management Portal (RMP) for planning, scheduling and data analytics.
Tactical Data Editor (TDE) for data management
Training and Exercise Manager (TEM) for exercise scenario and resource management
Observer (OBS) mobile application for mobile on and off-line access to exercise data, data collection and sharing operational/training data
Compliance and Performance Manager (CPM) for objective/task evaluation such as units against CATS/T&EOs
“STE opens up fantastic opportunities to train, assess and improve the performance of soldiers in any environment and battlespace. This is done rapidly and at a fraction of existing training costs. It will help to ensure U.S. Soldiers remain the best prepared men and woman in the world for any situation. I’m very proud we can be a part of this effort through VT MAK” concludes 4C Strategies’ Mike Edqvist.
“STE opens up fantastic opportunities to train, assess and improve the performance of soldiers in any environment and battlespace.”
All this bodes well for 4C Strategies as the company looks to increase its U.S. presence in the DC and Orlando area and continue to grow the use of Exonaut across the Army and DoD community.
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