MASA has developed a new version of its SWORD constructive command and staff training system, which was unveiled at the 2016 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) held in Orlando.
The levels of command have been expanded and the system now has a modular architecture. SWORD was previously designed for training at formation (division and brigade) headquarters (HQ) level, but this has now been extended to battalion HQ level, although the core software remains the same. The system is now offered in three main configurations - formation level, battalion level, and public safety - in a "Build your own SWORD" framework with additional options.
These include a number of software plugins such as High Level Architecture (HLA), Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) and for Systematic's SitaWare C2 software, logistic command post (CP) training, and web administration tools. MASA has also recently developed a mobile exercise control (Excon) client, which enables exercise controllers to monitor and control progress without being tied to fixed infrastructure, and showed this for the first time at I/ITSEC hosted on an iPad. David Chouraqui, CEO of MASA, told IHS Jane's that, although this was a small technical innovation, it was important to and had been warmly welcomed by existing customers. Versions for other operating systems will follow.
Other options under development are a standard messaging system, a national security option, and a communications module. Chouraqui said that at present exercise messaging is done by users with their own communications, but incorporating a MASA-provided messaging system would ensure full integration with SWORD so that "we know exactly what has been said and done".
The national security module addresses terrorism, mixing conventional and non-conventional activities. Chouraqui said that the development of this module is "fairly advanced".
As part of the "modularisation" of SWORD, MASA also offers different services, including customisation, training on the system, exercise support, and consultancy.
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