"The future battlefield is not just about the land domain," said U.S. Army Brigadier General Phil Brooks, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. "We're experimenting with how we can plan and coordinate activities faster because in multiple domains, activities will occur faster and faster."
Brooks leads a team of military planners, analysts and intelligence personnel, who assess and synchronise units and lethal and non-lethal combat capabilities for future operations in support of NATO goals to preserve peace and deter aggression in the North-Atlantic Region.
"The speed of information is ever increasing" said Brooks.
The four experiments delivered at the STLE21 tactical command posts CP, in Germany and Poland ranged from decision making AI software and energy efficiency monitoring.
U.S. Army Brigadier General Phil Brooks, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, and German Army Lieutenant Colonel Thorben Bunjes, a liaison officer for the Bundeswehr 1st Armoured Division, synchronise plans during STEADFAST LEDA 2021 in Sennelager Germany. (Photo by British Army Sergeant Paul Shaw)
"This is all focused around exponential or revolutionary change in our battle rhythm, our procedures and effectively the size of our CPs," said British Army Major Oliver Tagg, an exercise planner from the ARRC Plans Branch, who provides oversight of the experimentation delivered during the exercise. "We're the first foray in the land environment and there's a lot of other headquarters who are interested in the findings of how we utilise this and what doors this will open for the future."
Project ARTEMIS, in collaboration with Anduril Inc. who've worked with other defence agencies, supports targeting through the use of software to speed up decision making from 'sensor to shooter' and effect an outcome.
British Army Major Oliver Tagg, an exercise planner from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Plans Branch, provides oversight of experimentation delivered during Exercise Steadfast Leda 2021 in Sennelager Germany, 25 November 2021. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Elvis Umanzor)
Tagg said there would be a significant change in the time it takes to identify an issue to effect results on the ground, while also reduce the number of staff required to input and analyse data, reducing the size of the command post.
Project LELANTOS, an ongoing project, is a Wi-Fi enabled tactical CP with a built-in communication information system to significantly reduce set-up and teardown times. LELANTOS is a combination of hardware and software to develop a new and more sustainable, manoeuvrable and protected CP.
Two Mobile Expandable Container Configurations (MECC) create a field tactical command post in Swynnerton, United Kingdom as part of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps experimentation and training initiatives, 15 June 2021.(Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Elvis Umanzor)
Deployed Sustainable Power is a five-year project that started with data collection during exercises LOYAL LEDA 2020 and ARRCADE FUSION 2019, where the opportunity for hybrid generator and non-diesel solutions originated. The data will help maximize efficient use of power and identify sustainable options without impacting operational output, while also reducing the headquarters noise and heat signature.
Finally, the Organisational Learning Portal supports the U.K.'s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory development of an AI lessons collection portal. The initiative helps deliver an AI interview virtual assistant used to speak to individuals within the headquarters, identify how user friendly the software is, and collect lessons from the exercise.
Tagg said he's enjoyed his involvement in the different innovative experiments and projects, which help achieve NATO's defence goals.
"All of these are hopefully moving us towards a more efficient means of operating and will make us into a learning organisation," said Tagg. "We need to get better at it. We need to get smaller. We need to get slicker. So being able to influence that, to a small extent, it's quite rewarding."