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Brazilian Army Catching Up on Constructive Sims

May. 22, 2013 - 03:24PM   |  
By Lauren Biron   |   Comments
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ROME — The Brazilian Army has taken its next step in training with constructive simulations, selecting French company MASA’s artificial intelligence sim software for battalion-, brigade- and division-level training.

While constructive simulation has been attempted for over 20 years in Brazil, Col. Paulo Eduardo of the Brazilian Army’s simulation division said that, because Brazilian engineers were building their own sims in a closed culture, soldiers were not getting the most out of the software.

“We were not open,” he said of the military’s technology culture.

After attending I/ITSEC in 2009, Brazilian military officials recognized a need for openness, interoperability and technology sharing, Eduardo said, sending them on the hunt for the best simulation that fit their needs. The switch is not just one of technology, but also of focus.

“We had been focusing on lower-level details,” Eduardo said, explaining the need for command post exercises that could train higher echelon thinking. “The challenge was to find a system that would allow us to run a command post level exercise at the battalion level.”

MASA’s SWORD is a constructive simulation for improving training and decision-making skills, and includes artificial intelligence, a variety of scenarios and customizable databases.

MASA President Juan Pablo Torres said the company will work with members of the Brazilian Army to adapt the generic databases in the software for Brazil’s specific needs. That will include country-specific weapons, aircraft and vehicles, but also doctrine and tactics. There will also be changes to the terrain used in their constructive simulation, because Brazilian training must include jungle scenarios and river crossings.

Full customization of the software is expected to take about 14 months, but Eduardo said he hoped a beta version would be in uses in 2014. SWORD is slated to be used in five new training complexes. The training centers in Brasilia and Santa Maria will open in 2014, and three others are planned.

SWORD will be used for civil and defense training, and will include natural catastrophe preparedness. The beta version is also expected to be ready and used for training that will prepare officials for the crowds of the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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