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Trainers: Today's Exercises Are Too Simple

May. 23, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By LAUREN BIRON   |   Comments
(Lauren Biron)
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ROME — Commanders and operators need to take in an ever-growing amount of data, analyze it, and make decisions — but current training exercises may not accurately train these skills.

A major shortcoming is the simplicity of exercises that are generally quite narrow and targeted, leading trainees to an answer, said Maj. Gen. R.R. Davis, Britain’s director general for Army recruiting and training.

“I think that’s a pretty major flaw,” Davis said.

He said the challenge for modern military training is to get commanders to train seriously and then place them in a data-rich environment, one that more accurately represents that large quantity of data they will have to sift through. Those who succeed at mining data and exploiting it will be better trained for future challenges.

Decision support requires understand the whole environment, particularly in counterinsurgency or otherwise non-traditional combat operations. Of course, understanding the multiple aspects of the world – culture, epeople, terrain, patterns, vehicles, and beyond – produces an incredible amount of information.

Commanders are now training in an age of data abundance.

“What will maritime command look like in the age of Google?” asked Ed Gough, chief scientist for the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation.

With robots out exploring the sea, sky, and ground, data is growing more and more accurate, but also more confounding.

“The question is what to make of it,” Gough said.

Service members will have to train to filter out the important and often anomalous information from the streams of data. Tools that find patterns and probability are becoming more important, proving useful for maritime missions such as piracy operations.

Demand for data has increased, and the amount of data gathered from new technology and sensors has also piled up. of Clarion Defense and Security’s Simon Williams, a retired rear admiral and nuclear submariner, said that the ability for humans to be trained to analyze and synchronize this large quantity of data is just now beginning to catch up.

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