Troops Go On A ‘Digital’ Deployment

An innovative blend of simulations has been transforming training rooms into synthetic towns and cities to enable troops to evaluate and evolve their tactics for conducting operations in built-up areas.

Soldiers with the Royal Netherlands Army conduct training in Dismounted Soldier Training Systems at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, Grafenwoehr, Germany, June 5, 2013. The DSTS is the first fully-immersive virtual simulation for infantry. (U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach/released)

Headquarters staff from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh in Tidworth were among the latest personnel to plan and wargame urban missions using a QinetiQ-supplied cache of computer-based training tools.

The four-day digital deployment was part of Exercise Urban Lion – a two-year series of experiments held
on behalf of the Land Warfare Centre – and saw the company’s constructive simulation integrated alongside its Unit Based Virtual Training (UBVT) system.

Run on a network of laptop computers with exercising soldiers communicating via headsets, UBVT has previously been used to support a broad range of collective training and experimentation.

This included helping artillery units master the difficult discipline of de-conflicting joint fire missions in complex battlespaces and assisting mechanised rifle companies as they honed their patrolling skills before deploying to Afghanistan.

Commenting on UBVT’s novel application as part of Urban Lion, as well as QinetiQ’s wider supporting role to the exercise, project manager Nick Brown said: “Our collective training delivery teams are accustomed to being flexible and responsive to the Army’s needs and circumstances and repurposing the technology to complement such a wargame was the latest example of this.”


Soldier. (2021) Digital Deployment. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. August 2021, pp.15.


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