Our colleague Ben Kinsella works as an Analyst at our Warminster office. We caught up with Ben on duty in Germany for our client The British Army in preparation for operations.
Hi Ben, tell us a little about your background
– I’m Ex-Military, having served 23 years in the Queens Royal Hussars – an armoured regiment within The British Army. During my career I served in numerous countries including Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the highlights of my career was teaching armoured tactics to prospective tank commanders at the army’s Land Warfare School.
What skills have you achieved in your previous career that you can use within 4C?
– During my last 2 years in the British Army, I was a training specialist within Collective Training Group focusing on the Defence System Approach to Training (DSAT). This system underpins all training design, delivery, evaluation and assurance within the British Army. This experience, in particular the assurance element has proved incredibly useful as Exonaut is an invaluable element of the assurance process.
Another seemingly minor yet very important element is that being Ex-Military myself means that not only do I speak the same military jargon as our customer, but we have the same professional outlook. This coupled with my experience helps to cement the mindset of our customer that 4C is a very credible and professional organisation. I for one feel that our military customers genuinely enjoy working with 4C Strategies.
Can you give us some example of other interesting projects that you have worked with within 4C Strategies?
– 4C recently won a contract to support the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) in delivery of Exercise JOINT WARRIOR, one of the UK’s largest exercises involving Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force units. The initial engagement by my colleague Gareth Bennet really helped gain buy in from the JTEPS team. As the exercise progressed and developed the JTEPs team really got to grips with the Exonaut software, it was really satisfying watching them using Exonaut to plan, brief and dynamically script a live and hugely complex exercise.
In the picture above, I’m in Kenya helping run a trial in which we integrated our Exonaut applications and functionality across CUBIC’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The successful outcome of the trial demonstrated the next stage of enhanced Exonaut functionality and our ability to deliver our capabilities in the most austere conditions.
How did you end up working with 4C Strategies?
– I wanted to continue working with the military within a training context and 4C not only fitted my requirements but I knew some of the individuals already working at 4C. I approached 4C at their Warminster office and was very fortunate to be offered an interview and an offer of employment.
What are you working on right now?
– I’m working in Germany supporting a British Army exercise preparing a logistics regiment for operations.
You work mostly internationally and often out in the field. In the picture you are in Kenya, how do your duties differ from your colleagues at 4C?
– I think the main difference is that as a team due to our deployments, it’s very rare to get us all together in the same location and timeframe. So from a managerial perspective it can be tricky arranging face to face meetings. It’s always good when on the rare occasion we get to catch up with each other!
How does a typical month at work look like?
– This very much depends on The British Army’s Collective Training requirements for a given time period. No two months are the same, for example I’m currently out in Germany and in a week’s time I’ll be flying out to Kenya. A flexible approach is key.
As a team we’re very good at responding to last minute changes the British Army can sometimes throw at you. When not on delivery our team members can either be found supporting other teams within the Warminster office or having some well-earned leave!
In which way can clients get the most value out of 4C Strategies competence?
– From a military perspective, as all of our team are Ex-Military, we have a good understanding of what our customer needs to achieve. This coupled with our extensive knowledge of the Exonaut application and our willingness to go the extra mile allows us to provide the most efficient product tailored to the customers requirement and timeline.
You just mentioned ‘go the extra mile’, why is that so important to do that for our clients?
– ‘Going the extra mile’ for me goes hand in glove with the ability to add value for the customer. Both of which are incredibly important in building and maintaining a strong and professional relationship with our military customers. In my experience there can be an element of caution from the military when working with contractors – going the extra mile and adding value reassures our military customers they’re in a safe pair of hands with 4C Strategies.
We thank Ben for the chat and wish him the best of luck at his mission in Germany. If you want to know more about our solutions and services, please read more here.