Delivering Innovation through Training Data Exploitation

Client / UK MOD Project lead / Chris Rolfs, Chief Technology Officer

Force Development (FD) can improve upon the current efforts to leverage Collective Training (CT) Events to provide robust evidence for business cases supporting capability development. This is termed Training Data Exploitation.

It will support two audiences:

  • Provide those that support and deliver training a view of how they can play a critical role in supporting wider military experimentation.
  • Provide those that are responsible for developing military capability the understanding for what exploitation opportunities could be being enhanced to support their work
01. problem

Training is a key lever in the delivery of credible Force Elements at Readiness (FE@R). Whilst FD activity has some inherent training benefit, undertaking it within CT introduces risk to the achievement of CTOs. Activities such as equipment trials or future force experimentation will sometimes preclude CTOs being met given the experimentation constraints. The problem today lies at both ends: training activities have insufficient or inappropriate data capture approaches – and standalone experimentation is expensive, resource intensive, and difficult to programme. There have been fitful or sporadic attempts to address this and bring a more structured approach to the need to exploit, but these have not yet converted into something to resolve this inherent gap.

02. Approach

Through our work with MOD we have seen several challenges in combining CT and FD but also mutually beneficial opportunities. We have generated FD evidence from a variety of sources, including live, constructive and simulated training, and underpins Balance of Investment decisions. However, formal evidence generation is often only achievable through dedicated FD activity. There is an explicit requirement for any FORM cycle to be flexible enough to encompass planned and coordinated FD activities. Although conducting FD could limit achievement of CTOs, phased objectives can be met; furthermore, FD does not preclude complementary outputs for interoperability, influence and individual development.

The maxim “exercise once – re-use many times” applies in an environment where each and every rare CT activity needs to be exhaustively harvested (Training Data Exploitation) to extend its training and FD value. Experience across Army experimentation and FD has taught us that there are ways to address these tensions in a cost-effective manner – and it is important as the Army Collective Training Review comes into view that this is explored now.

03. relevance

By formalising enhanced integration between CT/FD it opens the potential for wider exploitation:

  • CT generates realistic ‘frictions’ which cannot be normally generated in trials or
    warfighting experiments.
  • Integrated CT-FD reduces the costs of warfighting experimentation, through
    efficient use of resources and time (including facilities).
  • Technology allows for the capture of detailed performance information. This
    provides the level of fidelity required for both objective training and evidence
    based decision making.
  • Development of a body of data to support multiple requirements for evidence,
    which avoiding repetition of data collection.
  • By treating the experiment as a training event, it increases the engagement from
    the user community who are trained to a known start standard.
  • Analytics, Machine Learning, and AI are moving at such a pace that they now
    provide unique opportunities going forward.

 

04. Conclusion

SDSR 15 placed renewed emphasis on innovation as a way of maintaining strategic advantage.  Warfighting Experimentation is intrinsically innovation and it is increasingly important within the way in which we develop our LAND Capabilities.  Innovation cannot be forced but can be encouraged by creating the ‘right’ environments for it to flourish.  CT is an excellent environment to nurture innovation but measuring and exploiting it is a challenge.  We are one of the few companies which can effectively exploit Collective Training Data, giving commanders and individuals freedom to innovate and allowing concepts and ideas to be tested and developed.

 

We are one of the few companies which can effectively exploit Collective Training Data, giving commanders and individuals freedom to innovate.

Alan Roan

Managing Director