But for soldiers to use that gear best and practice round after round, they’ve got to be able to train.
Training now means more than mock squad grass drills behind the barracks. Technology is finally getting to a point where soldiers can enter a simulated world and run through combat-like scenarios on the actual terrain where they will fight, whether that’s boots on dirt, flying in the skies or firing from remote platforms.
Soldiers, Marines try out new device that puts ‘mixed reality,’ multiple functions into warfighter’s hands. The system melds navigation, targeting, situational awareness and communications into a single device with advanced thermal and night vision.
Advanced trainers have already pushed out with more on the way, including the backbone of how a multitude of soldiers, commanders and units will conduct realistic training at home station to help them prepare in ways they never before could.
Another key piece of gear with the Soldier Lethality is Integrated Visual Augmentation System, a kind of headset that ties in navigation, weapon and troop location information into one device.
Some of that will combine old items, such as the engagement skills trainer, for items such as call for fire, use of force and others, into one system with the Soldier-Squad Virtual Trainer to help a squad operate in the simulated environment together in real time.
The advantage that gives is to allow for “reps and sets” of training to be done at home station regardless of range availability.
“Train wherever you are. Set up a barracks as an entire shoot house, use a series of buildings. They’re not tied to some facility scheduled way in advance. That lets soldiers be intuitive and execute parts of their training when they need to, practicing in the terrain they’ll actually fight on.
The most pressing and promising work, though has been in developing “One World Terrain models from real world data. Processing times for the data needed to create a usable environment shrank from months or weeks down to days or hours since the team started work.
The next steps for One World Terrain include expanding the system’s database. Some of the challenges include improving latency and bandwidth so that the fidelity or realistic qualify of the terrain remains high. However, even lower fidelity versions can help with training and mission planning.
As they continue building the individual, squad and collective trainers, training is pushing into the combined simulation to improve the decades-old gear with force-on-force laser-based shooting simulators. Also alternatives both for the engagement system that runs the shooting devices and the devices themselves.
Roll out the talking robots – or at least the artificial intelligence technologies that can manage human communication networks on the future battlefield. The unprecedented complexity of communications management in a future with exponential increases of ubiquitous information technology devices in Multi-Domain Operations needs AI solutions.
Military must develop AI-supported assured communications management capabilities to understand and monitor network structures and their availability throughout the environment. to seamlessly integrate commercial and military communication networks to the warfighter’s devices.
Like any adversary, the complexity of Future Operational Environments will challenge future warriors’ abilities to command and control their warfighting systems. For example, Multi Domain Operations are expected to be composed of vast formations of unmanned, robotic, and autonomous systems that depend on massive amounts of data and rapid, assured communications across the spectrum, from tactical to strategic battle areas.
Engagements in the future environment will “far exceed the reaction time of humans. Decision-making processes require much greater speed; information and intelligence…so that commanders can make decisions at increasingly rapid rates.”
Future forces may have to operate in a communications denied environment, potentially requiring the employment of robotic and autonomous systems highlighting the importance of maintaining “assured communications and sufficient network bandwidth” as operational tempo increases with the integration of greater numbers of manned and unmanned systems.
Despite the compelling need for AI-based capabilities, their development has been slow, potentially leading to degraded battlefield communication management, and ultimately communication gaps. AI-based innovations may reduce the warfighter’s need to pause operations for lack of communications must develop capability can monitor network status and seamlessly integrate warfighters’ communications networks and devices.
Consider scenarios where such capabilities can enhance command and control during MDO:
A battlefield truck driver needs to give a status report to operations centers, from the strategic to the tactical support areas. What communications are available along the route? What onboard technology will feed into the report? Must the driver find a friendly command post or a commercial node to transmit his report? Is there a single channel, line-of-sight, or beyond line-of-sight option mounted to the truck? AI assured capabilities knows instantly and will automatically establish network connections, provide assured communications, and send the status report to the proper recipients.
Special operations forces and local militias engaged in a fight against a common enemy must maintain command and control in an austere environment. The signal officer must develop primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency communications options. New tools understand the interoperability and interface requirements of the available communications equipment and autonomously establishes assured communications connectivity.
Such capabilities can simultaneously support a truck driver, a signal officer, a special forces operator, and virtually every other soldier, command post, or robotic and autonomous capability on the battlefield, establishing communications with the management of two key dependencies.
First, they seamlessly employ available commercial, private, or military communication networks for the warfighter. Second, they understand the type, capability, location, and availability of all warfighters’ organic communications assets, assigned by echelons.
A robust capability should autonomously answer three questions for communications managers: Who talks to whom and when? What talks to what and when? And what means best serve these communications requirements?
To answer these questions, an AI-empowered system requires three intrinsic, trusted data feeds that include 1) the status of all available communications systems across the battlefield in real time; 2) an inventory of units, locations, and communications assets of all friendly forces; and 3) the permissions needed to autonomously establish services between communications systems and warfighting communications assets. With these comprehensive, ubiquitous trusts, AI assured capabilities and its data resources provides all warfighters at echelon with communications at any time, by any available means.
These may include the following:
Managing Access Points. AI assured capabilities must know all potential access points for wired and wireless communications capabilities across the battlefield. Access points provide warfighters, command posts, robotic and autonomous systems with the locations and types of available communications.
Reporting Operational Status. AI assured capabilities must know the operational status of all wired and wireless communications capabilities at each potential access point. This status identifies the quality and capacity of communications at each access point.
Mapping Routes of March and Command Post Locations. AI assured capabilities requires terrain mapping of all potential routes of march traversing a battlespace. AI assured capabilities overlays routes of march upon access points so warfighters can readily connect to the nearest communications capability.
The result is war fighters and command posts receive ‘on the move’ and ‘at the halt’ communications. AI assured capabilities also requires terrain mapping of potential command post locations, to include improved buildings and unimproved field locations that can support ‘at the halt’ and fixed communications requirements. AI assured capabilities overlays command post locations upon access points so warfighters can establish command posts at a location with the best network connectivity.
Managing All Available Communications Devices. AI assured capabilities requires a trusted awareness of all available communications capabilities by unit, with the ability to geolocate each device. This awareness of friendly force information must include all echelons of capability. From a truck with an FM radio to the four-star command post, to any number of future warfighting devices, and capability operating on the battlefield. The alignment of network connectivity with warfighter capability produces assured communications.
Providing Trusted Network Provider Access and Contracts. AI assured capabilities requires trusted relationships communications providers to seamlessly enable leased or military services for authorized users. AI assured capabilities must automatically establish contracts processes to rapidly establish communications connectivity for the warfighter and for other systems on the battlefield.
Providing Information Fusion. AI assured capabilities capability fuses information feeds and provides a real-time alignment of: 1) access point communications capabilities; 2) routes of march; 3) command post locations; 4) available devices by location; and, 5) automatic contracts and service provision. An AI assured capabilities system-of-systems becomes a ‘matrix’ of all available users, their organic communications capabilities, and the networks to connect them.
Who talks to whom and when? What talks to what and when? And what means best serve these communications requirements?
The result of such capability is comprehensive. From the platoon to the theater army level, and at all points in time and space on the battlefield, AI-assured communications capabilities can minimize the “the fog and friction of war” and their effects on operations..
1. Increased Productivity
Workflow and business process automation reduces the amount of time needed to complete a task. This can result in higher productivity rates for routine tasks, with the side benefit of freeing up employees’ time to concentrate on more complex and revenue-generating activities and better customer service.
2. Streamlined Communication
Conversations, emails, and phone calls between employees who are trying to pass on information can result in many details getting lost in translation. An automated system provides a visual and organized platform where all employees have a centralized view. Updates and documentation is recorded and managed so that all information is current. Controls are in place to prevent overlaying information and for access permissions.
3. Reduced Time and Costs
Performing tasks manually requires a lot more time than if they were automated. This frees up your time to work on items that add genuine value to the business, allowing you to be more innovative and increasing your employees’ levels of motivation.
Expensive manual errors and inefficiencies occur where humans are involved. Automation can greatly reduce the costs associated with errors such as delayed approvals and the like. It can also save administrative labor costs.
Business process automation means that more man-hours are available to you. This means your company can have the same level of output even after reducing the human workforce. Thus, you have the chance to focus more on the quality of your employees instead of quantity. And eventually, reduce the overall cost of business operation.
4. Improved Quality
An automated process ensures that all actions are performed identically with no room for error. Each product is produced and each service is performed consistently, without deviations. This results in higher quality products and customer service that is more reliable. The improved consistency also encourages the development of more feature-filled products with little or no increase in production time and costs.
5. Greater Visibility
Business process automation systems include dashboards where you can view and monitor the process and see where things are at any given time. This is useful in managing deadlines and for capacity planning purposes.
6. More Efficient Task Management
The various departments involved in any process can have access and visibility into the automated workflow with just a few clicks. No more emails or phone calls to other departments requesting status. You can set up regular monitoring and reminders within the automated system so that nothing in the process slips through the cracks.
7. Improved Operational Stability
Business process automation systems have rigid guidelines regarding the control document and process actions. This eliminates situations where processing steps might be missed or documents misplaced. Employees need not worry about verifying accuracy of information and tasks; it’s all built in to the system. This greatly increases the dependability and reliability of the process.
8. Greater Customer Satisfaction
Because they will receive more accurate and consistent products and services, your customers will be more satisfied. They’ll know that they can depend on you to get the job done right. Also, your customer service will be easier and more efficient. If a customer calls, you can quickly pull up all their related information without shuffling through a bunch of papers. Customers will appreciate the speed and quality of service, which will increase their trust and loyalty.
9. Better allocation of the workforce
Automating tasks allows your business to free up your workforce from many repeated actions that actually do not need that much human intervention. This enables you to reorganize your company’s structure and focus more on creative tasks and innovation.
At complex projects, monitoring every team member and ensuring proper flow of information often turns out to be a difficult task. Keeping track of project process, updating the different teams, setting goals and deadlines become a lot easier if these processes can be automated.
10. Deeper insights into the business process
By computationally managing your business information, you can analyse and dig deeper into the data. Automating the business process thus gives you a way to gain deeper into different aspects of your business.
For example, you may want to see the number of leads that you are generating and compare that with the number of sales you have. Of course, this analysis can be done manually. But for large organisations, such manual analysis can be complex. Better insights also mean you can easily identify problems in any part of the business process, which may otherwise be invisible.