Press Releases

Close Air Solutions’ iCASS delivers successful NATO Close Air Support training for Exercise Ample Strike

25 September 2014

Close Air Solutions (CAS) successfully deployed the iCASS (immersive Close Air Support Simulator) to Namest Air Base, Czech Republic as an integral part of EXERCISE AMPLE STRIKE.

AMSE14 was held in the Czech Republic from 8-12 September 2014. The exercise objective was to ensure NATO Forward Air Controllers (FAC) are current for contingency operations. FACs took part from a number of nations, notably, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, USA and the UK. All had the opportunity to control live aircraft as well as experience simulator training.

Throughout the week, the CAS training team put 14 teams of NATO FACs through their paces in a virtual environment. CAS believe immersion leading to a state known as ‘flow’ or‘zone’ comes not merely by means of a powerful visual systemand representative equipment, but via scenario based training.

CAS delivered a complex scenario based in Kismayo, Somalia,a MetaVR geospecific terrain database. MetaVR has built a3D virtual representation of the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo. The high-resolution terrain is populated with hundredsof geographically specific culture models built from groundlevel photographs taken on the streets of Kismayo. The missioncreated by CAS is centred around a Non Combatant Evacuation Operation or NEO, and pushed the FACs to consider elements of warfighting that have not been at the forefront of their minds during recent conflicts.

Lieutenant Colonel Scott Hurrelbrink (USAF), Chief, Forward Air Control Capability Section noted the power of the training in his comments about how simulation can add value to an exercise - It’s a way we can get an awful lot of training, training in a contested and degraded environment.

At the core of the iCASS is Battlespace Simulations Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE). MACE provides computer generated/semi-automated forces and threat generation.

Realistic, physics based, threat emulation is one of the keys to immersion and is extremely difficult to replicate in a live environment. The goal of the Close Air Solutions team is to use the power of iCASS to recreate combat stress in a safe learning environment. Training in contested airspace is a particular focus and feedback received from qualified NATO FACs during this exercise attests to this fact. Full after action review rounds off
this impressive, and sought after capability.

The iCASS can be seen at the following conferences/events in 2014
• The NATO FAC conference, Rust,
Germany. 4-6 November 2014

• Omega CAS conference, The Old Naval College,
London. 18-19 November 2014

About Close Air Solutions
CAS is a single source deliverer of all aspects of international Close Air Support Training for Forward Air Controllers (FAC), Joint
Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), Aircrew, and the wider military community. For more information

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