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IT2EC 2023: Training for multi-domain ops needs a fresh approach to succeed

25th April 2023 - 18:30 GMT | by Giles Ebbutt in Rotterdam


Multi-domain operations are in need of a simulated environment in which decision-making can be put to the test and complex scenarios generated. (Photo: Netherlands MoD)

The complexity of multi-domain operations (MDO) requires a new approach as commanders will no longer be able to rely on their past experience and will need new decision support tools, according to the head of NATO's C2 centre of excellence.

Decision-making in the multi-domain environment will become increasingly demanding and will require a change in approach to training, according to Col Mietta Groeneveld, Royal Netherlands Army, director of the NATO Command and Control (C2) centre of excellence in Utrecht.

Speaking during a keynote panel at the IT2EC event in Rotterdam she noted that individual training is a national responsibility, but the training of headquarters staff is the alliance’s.

She suggested that it is no longer good enough to rely on gut feeling and experience to make decisions. The quantity and range of information available to a commander and staff in MDO is too great for this to be acceptable. 

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‘There needs to be a cultural change, a change of mindset among those who have many years of experience,’ she said, ‘and we need new decision support tools and games to train the staff'.

Groeneveld observed that there is unwitting bias according to background in the decisions of commanders and their staffs and suggested that technology should be able to identify and challenge this bias. 

She said that there may also be bias in scenario writing and offered a challenge to industry develop artificial intelligence to create and write unbiased scenarios.

She added that command training should be conducted in an environment where it was ‘safe to fail’, where people had the opportunity to make mistakes. ‘We need a method to test decisions in a simulated environment including the wider impact beyond the strictly military effect’.

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Giles Ebbutt


Giles Ebbutt

Giles Ebbut is a Shephard Media correspondent based in the UK who specialises in C4ISR …

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