Canadian Forces Warfare Centre completes joint non-munitions effects experiment

Canadian Forces Warfare Centre Joint Battle Lab
Canadian Armed Forces staff during the non-munitions effects experiment held at the Canadian Forces Warfare Centre Joint Battle Lab in February 2018. Photo: Captain Chris Price

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For the second year in a row, Canadian and Australian experts conducted joint non-munitions targeting experiments at the Canadian Forces Warfare Centre in Shirley’s Bay, in Ottawa.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) developed the non-munitions targeting project to examine a broad set of capabilities that reflect the reality of modern warfare in joint targeting capability. The Australian Defence Force, equally interested in incorporating electronic warfare into its targeting process, provided the software and experts in support of the simulation that was part of the experiment.

The experiment involved approximately 50 participants from a variety of units and organizations: 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment, Canadian Forces Information Operations Group, Canadian Joint Operations Command, Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, DRDC, Director General – Cyberspace, Director General Information Management Operations, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group.

The team looked at the integration of offensive cyber operations into the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) joint targeting cycle, and explored operations within cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum. They collected data to identify lessons for ongoing CAF targeting capability development, and for anticipating and countering potential threats in today’s global security environment.

Results of the experiment will enable the CAF to use both munitions-based and non-munitions-based capabilities, such as electronic warfare, information operations or operations in cyberspace, to neutralize threats.

The experiment showed that CAF cyber and electronic warfare capabilities can be synchronized. It also demonstrated the importance of target system and audience analysis to support target prioritization, and to help achieve the desired effects of non-munitions-based capabilities.

Another important outcome of the experiment was the development of a rigorous Collateral Effects Estimation methodology. The lack of a common methodology had been an issue for the CAF and our allies. A rigorous method developed during the experiment has been circulated to operational planners for feedback, and will be further examined in future experiments.

Over the remaining series of joint non-munitions effects experiments, the team will focus on integrating their work with allied research institutions to explore interoperability standards and solutions. The next experiment is scheduled to take place during 2018-2019.

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