Milestone for Australian Army BMS Integration

The Australian Army’s adoption of the Battle Management System (BMS) has passed another major milestone with a highly successful second trial for the integration of the system into the All Corps Captains Course (ACCC) at Kokoda Barracks, Canungra.

Two ‘super syndicates’ of twenty trainees each were given a one day BMS familiarisation session at the beginning  the course and Elbit Systems of Australia (ELSA) provided on the job training and close mentoring during the rest of the course.

Despite the limited pre-course training, the staff and trainees embraced BMS and employed it during four Staff Military Appreciation Process (SMAP) activities and two Command Post Exercises (CPX). By the end of the first BMS integrated SMAP the trainees conducted briefs and Battle Group orders using BMS Overlays and Explorer bookmarks.      

Key to the success of the trial was the partnership between the ELSA Canungra Training Team and Officer Training Wing (OTW).

ELSA’s Chief Instructor Land 200-2, Doug Cumming said, “The ACCC Senior Instructor, Operations Package Master and Directing Staff (DS) ensured that ELSA was part of the team.”

“ELSA was given numerous opportunities to address the trainees collectively and to individually mentor them at each stage of the SMAPs and during the setup of the CPX activities. “

“ELSA fully digitised the exercise papers and Brigade Operations Order into BMS and the trainees received only BMS orders. This upfront work prior to the course took several weeks and was critical to the success of the trial,” he said.

During the conduct of the SMAP, the DS provided planning and tactical considerations feedback to the trainees. ELSA staff focused on demonstrating BMS functionality and in assisting trainee outcomes within the staff planning context. 

To enable the CPX another thirty trainees were given three hours of BMS training so that they could provide a LOCON function by emulating Battle Group manoeuvre elements during the CPX.  The trainees did this by creating and moving friendly force elements, as well as UEI tracks, which contributed to a realistic Common Operating Picture (COP) for the Battle Group HQ. This was only the second time at OTW that the COP used in the CPX was BMS which proved to be highly successful.  In addition, all reports and returns were provided through the BMS during the activity. A noticeable change was a significant reduction in the use of the simulated CNR voice network with almost all messaging traffic being conducted on BMS.   

“Despite receiving only modest BMS training certain trainees demonstrated an impressive capability to embrace a new system and employ it at the same time as they learned the SMAP and Command Post procedures,” Doug said.

“This was only possible by OTW and ELSA adopting a very ‘hands on’ and OJT focused approach that will continue as the trial progresses to a full BMS integration on the next ACCC in May. “