4C Strategies>News>4C’s Iain Nichols talks interdisciplinary training and data-driven innovation
4C’s Iain Nichols talks interdisciplinary training and data-driven innovation
We talk to Iain Nichols about his roles in the army over a 30+ year-long career, and discover how his skillset and experience will help 4C customers as they digitalise and transform their training operations.
With a wealth of interdisciplinary training experience in European armed forces and governments, Iain Nichols has left the British Army to join 4C Strategies’ UK Military Division.
Bringing 30+ years experience to training digital transformation
Hi Iain, when did you join the army?
I joined the Royal Engineers in 1988, serving first within 3 Commando Brigade at regimental duty both in the UK and with European partners in the Netherlands, France and Germany.
What did you do after that?
I attended Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned in 1992. From there, I continued with regimental duty alternating between UK and Germany, during which time I served on operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
After completing my tour as a Squadron Commander in 2003, I began to work more in programme management primarily in a wide variety of training appointments, which is where much of the rest of my military career has been focused.
In addition to training jobs, I worked in NATO as an operational planner, in the UK Procurement Agency as a Capability Group Leader, and in Defence Engagement posts as both an Exchange Officer and Liaison Officer with the Bundeswehr in Germany.
Tell us more about your international experience
Overall, I’ve worked extensively in Europe, but also spent considerable time in Africa and the Middle East.
I spent 15 years of my career working in Germany, most recently spending six years embedded with the Bundeswehr; first at the German Ministry of Defence in Berlin, then at the German Army Training Command in Leipzig. There, I had wide-ranging roles that involved working in German language with the German Foreign Office to provide military support to their stabilisation and conflict resolution programmes in Africa, and developing a 5-year bilateral training programme for the German and British Armies to build cultural understanding and improve interoperability.
Both roles involved wide engagement with a range of stakeholders including the UN, NATO, OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), European partner nations and a number of NGOs.
“Ultimately, [Exonaut] will improve British Army readiness, enable closer NATO, European and Allied defence cooperation, and contribute to improving international security.”
Iain Nichols, CTTP Programme Lead, 4C Strategies
What was your final role before leaving the army?
My final two years in the Army were spent with 6th UK Division in a newly formed organisation tasked to develop unconventional capabilities to counter hybrid threats and grey zone activities. Interestingly, 4C Strategies provided support for some of the pilot projects that were ongoing. After more than 30 years in the British Army, I retired, keen to explore new opportunities and have finally started to put down some roots in southwest England.
How will you support the army in your new role at 4C?
I am the 4C Strategies Campaign Lead for the British Army’s Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP). I will be working closely with the British Army to help them fully leverage the power of Exonaut across the training domain and better exploit the data it provides.
This is a major programme for the British Army, and offers real potential to modernise training and maximise the greatest training benefit from the available resources and opportunities. I believe that Exonaut offers a best in class capability enabling customers to train smarter and more effectively by using data to better understand training outcomes and inform decision making. With 4C Strategies working with such a wide range of international defence customers, Exonaut presents tangible opportunity to facilitate closer defence cooperation and interoperability.
Ultimately, this will improve British Army readiness, enable closer NATO, European and Allied defence cooperation, and contribute to improving international security. Exonaut is on the cutting edge of digital training and I’m excited to be a part of it.
Exonaut Military Exercise Management
Exonaut has become the global de facto standard for military training and exercise management software.
Exonaut helps users assess, visualise and exploit training data to support decision making, build capabilities and increase your training readiness. Highly scalable and configurable, the platform enables allied forces across the globe to plan, programme, design, manage and optimise complex exercises, training progressions and experimentation.
Accredited at NATO Secret and Unclassified levels, Exonaut is used from Individual to Joint levels across the live, virtual and constructive spectrum. It is available as a standalone solution or with a team of dedicated support staff to manage exercises and administration.
Exonaut is deployable with on-premise, cloud-hosted or hybrid options.
See Exonaut in action
4C Strategies provides military clients with a broad range of tailored solutions designed to manage complex exercises, enable capability development, and enhance readiness across the organisation. Book a free, live demo or meet with one of our expert consultants to discuss your requirements.
Finally, what do you do when you’re not working at 4C?
My family and I have recently moved into a cottage in Somerset, so we’re enjoying settling into the area and getting to know the place and the people. I also enjoy a round of golf, occasional sailing and remain a keen rugby fan. I like to travel, and aspire to continue learning languages – it looks like Swedish might have to be next!
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