Army trains for real world threats

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Much of the military training done over the past decade has been focussed on operational requirements, now the CAF will adopt a new way to train.

Now that our operational tempo has slowed, the CAF must concentrate on building a combat-capable, flexible and adaptable force. To address this requirement, Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, commander of the Canadian Army, has decided the Canadian Army (CA) will adopt the Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) as its common training environment.

DATE, which will be implemented in three phases, allows for ease when adapting training scenarios and events to mirror a variety of real world threats rather than focussing on the last war.

“DATE provides a greater level of detail for possible operating environments,” says Major Scott Roach, head of the DND and CAF Modelling and Simulation Coordination Office, at the Canadian Forces Warfare Centre in Ottawa. “As DATE is based on 20 years of lessons learned and experience, it has been well-developed to provide the information required for effective planning and mission preparation.”

The CA requires a modern, adaptable, realistic and relevant training environment to fully prepare commanders, staff and individual soldiers. Adopting a single common training environment and the associated threat model allows a deeper understanding of the full range of opposing forces.

DATE incorporates a better designed and in-depth set of factors within the training environment to include all political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, information, physical environment, and time factors. DATE is not a scenario, but rather a reference database from which training scenarios can be designed, developed and delivered according to commanders’ battle task standards. Elements from DATE can be used for domestic operations training, given that it is possible to design scenarios involving potential lone wolf actors, terrorist threats, and criminal threats to DND property.

To teach exercise developers and planners to make optimal use of DATE, the first Canadian threat tactics course (TTC) was conducted at CFB Kingston early November 2015. “The aim of the course is to have students dig into the reference documents to create challenging training events for use within an exercise scenario to meet a commander’s training goals and battle task standards,” said Maj Roach.

American, British and Australian programs are also looking at fully adopting DATE, as are a number of NATO nations.

If you should have any questions regarding DATE, please send an email. To consult all the documentation related to DATE.

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