Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

India’s proposed Counter-Terrorism Operations Planning Tool and Wargaming System

India CT sim

Earlier this year the Indian Army’s Wargaming Development Centre (WARDEC) issued a request for proposals for a Counter-Terrorism Operations Planning Tool and Wargaming System. According to the RFP “[t]he aim of the Counter Terrorism Operational Planning Tool and Wargaming System is to aid unit commanders in operational planning and to train sub-unit commanders in planning and execution of various Operations in Counter Terrorism (CT) environment.” Other key features of the system would be:

The package will be based on actual area of Operations in a 1:5,000 scale digitised map with option to switch to 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale maps, provided by WARDEC. The software will have the facility of incorporating satellite images and air photographs.

[T]he package would be fielded at WARDEC and in the actual Area of Operations of an Infantry Brigade/Sector Headquarters.

The Operational Planning tool is intended to be used both in a standalone and networked mode based on a LAN configuration.

The training audience are required to be trained in planning and execution of various operations in CT environment based on “painted” situations.

The level of game play would be from the battalion down to platoon level. However, the Exercise Control (EXCON) of the game would be from a terminal, dedicated for Exercise Director, who will represent the Brigade Headquarters….

(a) BlueForces. The resolution level for Blue Forces would be down to sub section/Operational Team level for input of orders. All activities below a Team level would be depicted and resolved based on sets of Combat Rules embedded in the system. The behaviour and activity pattern of a single soldier would be modelled in the back end and aggregated to that of an Operational Team comprising 6-8 soldiers. The players would, however, play the game based on this lowest entity of an Operational Team.

(b) Terrorists. The resolution level for terrorists would be individual terrorist

EXCON would be able to set intangible factors like training, leadership, morale, fatigue, fear, support of local population, etc. These factors would have effect on the combat outcome of the forces

The aspect of civilians would be played as an EXCON function. The aspects to be played from the civilians graphical user interface would be:-

  1. (i)  Assisting terrorists.
  2. (ii)  Act as informers to security forces/terrorists (OGWs).
  3. (iii)  Act as human shield during security forces operations.
  4. (iv)  Mass gatherings.
  5. (v)  Blockades.

The closing date on the RFP was back in April. However, Colonel Sameer Chauhan (Senior Fellow, Center for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi) is currently undertaking research on simulation-based training requirements in the Indian Army, and passed on the RFP with a request for thoughts and feedback from the broader professional wargaming community. If you have any comments, feel free to leave them here, or email him directly.

One response to “India’s proposed Counter-Terrorism Operations Planning Tool and Wargaming System

  1. James Sterrett 01/07/2013 at 5:01 pm

    A few thoughts on features and capabilities you might want to include or clarify:

    1) Include the ability to save the simulation state and restart from saved states. This provides insurance against program crashes, or power or equipment failures. It also enables you to restart the simulation from saved points in order to explore outcomes of alternate courses of action.

    2) Clarify what role civilians and other noncombatant groups are going to play. Sometimes they appear to be ignored; at other times, they appear to be fully present – civilians moving as an indicator, for example. This could be interpreted as the need for a large number of civilians being tracked in real time. Is that what you want? Are the civilians and other noncombatant forces going to be directly represented, or mostly represented as effects? 61d sounds like quite a bit of work for EXCON and may necessitate a second EXCON station.

    3) How detailed is the resolution of the actions of the teams going to be? Is the simulation expected to proceed from major event to major event, or to proceed in continuous time? These generate different environments for decisions; for example, event-driven simulations give the opportunity to move through simulated time quickly; while continuous time can force development of tactical patience as information comes in.
    There is potentially a disjoint in the way the simulation will work for you here. If the simulation requires detailed control of the teams, then it is unlikely to get through much simulated time well, which will hamper the ability of the simulation to drive the intelligence-gathering phase of an operation. However, if the actions of teams during contact is not modelled in detail, you will likely need a different simulation for that purpose.

    4) Item 30 (fly/drive/walk through facility) seems to add a first-person shooter capability to what is otherwise a 2-dimensional constructive simulation. It can be done, but note that the overhead this adds in building the engine, and in building and maintaining terrain databases, is quite significant. Your workstation requirements are workable, but definitely *not* high-end, for this purpose. A large 3D map could well bring the workstation computer to a halt.

    5) Appendix K: Consider requiring the vendor to train one of your people and give that person the opportunity to operate the simulation; or to set up their software on your computers so that your people can explore the demonstration software at will. This provide some crosscheck on the ease of use requirement, and also makes it more likely that you will know what does, and what doesn’t actually work in the simulation (as your people discover the limitations during their exploration).

    6) Consider requiring vertical slice deliverables periodically before the final delivery date of the contract, beginning as early as possible. When delivered, the contractor should set up the software on your systems, provide any required training, and let your people explore the software. The intent is to provide you with early and frequent opportunities to evaluate the software’s development, and ensure that it is becoming what you need and want.

    7) Does the simulation need to interface with a battle command system?

    I hope this is of some use.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: