Multi-faceted combat training facility gives better results

Let's face it, military life is something special. Working as an officer, soldier or sailor is a very serious profession, where ultimately you hold your own and others' lives in your hands. When it comes to the crunch, many people count on doing the right thing and solving the task. Training and practising over and over again to be as good as is humanly possible is a necessity. But exactly how do you do that?

Follow-up on the training field during Spring Fire 16 carried out by one of the combat training facility's mobile devices. Here with personnel in the 42nd motorised battalion from the Skaraborg regiment, P 4. Photo: Caroline Segerdahl/Swedish Armed Forces
Johan Lind and Stefan Andersson work in the combat training facility, used to record events in the training field. Here during Spring Fire 16. Photo: Caroline Segerdahl/Swedish Armed Forces
Pause for a company from the 42nd motorised battalion during Spring Fire 16. Photo: Caroline Segerdahl/Swedish Armed Forces
Exercise leadership review before the day's activities during Spring Fire 16. Photo: Caroline Segerdahl/Swedish Armed Forces
Combat vehicles hiding in the vegetation during Spring Fire 16. Photo: Caroline Segerdahl/Swedish Armed Forces

Let's face it, military life is something special. Working as an officer, soldier or sailor is a very serious profession, where ultimately you hold your own and others' lives in your hands. When it comes to the crunch, many people count on doing the right thing and solving the task. Training and practising over and over again to be as good as is humanly possible is a necessity. But exactly how do you do that?

At the Land Warfare Centre there are many different simulator systems and training facilities which are used to train individuals and units as realistically as possible, without actually having to wage war. One of them is the combat training facility (STA) which is very frequently used to provide a basis for evaluation in connection with army exercises around the country.

"With the help of our equipment we record everything that is done in the training grounds and compile it all into an excellent basis for evaluation," says Stefan Andersson, head of the facility. We put modems on soldiers and vehicles to monitor their movements and see what they do and when they are eliminated. You can't cheat; if you do something wrong it is recorded and you have to take the consequences," he continues.

The system consists of one or two mobile centres, from where the analysis process takes place. The sensors are placed on vehicles and on the soldiers' vests. This is complemented by physical follow-up in the field and by photographs and film. All of the data is then compiled into a report that can be used to evaluate decisions and actions. A system of this kind allows very clear follow-up based on facts that the system has recorded.

"Sweden was the first country in the world to think along these lines and to work with simulators in this way," says Stefan. "We continue to be at the leading edge and we are about to modernise the system to be even more at the forefront in our supporting data.

The facility is used for most of the army's major exercises, and is much appreciated by units. The last time was during the Spring Fire exercise carried out in Skövde on 24-30 May this year, where the focus was on following up and developing the battalions' capabilities."