Close Air Solutions Support Bold Quest 16.2

Close Air Solutions were pleased to support UK Join Forces Command on exercise BOLD QUEST 16.2 in October/November 2016.

Bold Quest is an annual multifaceted capability assessment designed to test the interoperability of NATO forces’ command and control, communications and computer systems with a focus on combat identification and minimizing the risk of fratricide. One of the key strands of Bold Quest is Distributed Simulation Training at the coalition level.

Close Air Solutions facilitated the UK contribution to the distributed simulation exercise connected to NATO and European sites. Close Air Solutions set up 2 immersive Close Air Support Simulators (iCASS) systems at the Defence Simulation Centre (DSC) at MOD Boscombe Down for connection to the distributed network at the classified and unclassified levels.

The focus was interoperability between UK, US, and French forces. This involved combined training scenarios with AC130s, AH64, MQ9, UH60, and Tornado air assets controlled on the ground by French TACP (using FACSIM at the Air Ground Operations School in Nancy Ochey) and UK JTACs (using iCASS at the Defence Simulation Centre).

The synthetic missions were complex and fully integrated multi air and ground asset operations for scenarios such as – Hostage Rescue, High Value Target capture, and disruption of enemy training camp capability. The environment used for the mission was the Fort Stewart (Savanna) training area.

The iCASS leveraged the high resolution Savanna terrain database provided by MetaVR to provide a fully immersive training environment for the participants. The Battlespace Simulations Modern Air Combat Environment computer generated allowed CAS staff to produce complex constructive enemy forces and friendly forces to enhance the immersion yet further. This combination of software and operators is accredited to replace live Close Air Support controls for JTAC currency by the UK Joint Air Land Organisation, so not only could the teams get training at the coalition level with international assets, it counted towards their annual currency requirements.

The iCASS was connected to other distributed systems including those using different Image Generators (IG) and Computer Generated Forces (CGF) software such as:
– VBS3 (French JTAC using FACSIM at Nancy Ochey)
– OneSAF (UH60 using AVCATT at Camp Atterbury)
– JSAF/VBS3 (AC130, CV22 using JTSC/OFT at Hurlburt Field)
– MACE/VRSG (MQ9 using iATTACK at Colmart UTC)

all on a common terrain database and using a common model enumerations list to ensure correlation across the systems.

About the Author

Tom Ball

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