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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

01 December 2015

I/ITSEC 2015: MASA Detailing Successes

First deployed in 2006, MASA's SWORD is now in service in 16 countries across the globe either directly by the armed forces or through defence industry partners and government emergency response bodies. Along with MASA SYNERGY, a high-level decision system dedicated to emergency preparedness and crisis management training and planning, and LIFE, an Artificial Intelligence-based middleware designed to enable the creation of autonomous behaviors for simulations, MASA's flagship products are demonstrated at booth 2224.

MASA's presence here at this year's I/ITSEC is also be marked with a briefing by Commander Thierry Cadot on the French Army's recent acquisition of a global country license for MASA's internationally renowned SWORD automated war-game. A briefing will take place at 1500h on Wednesday, 2 December, on MASA's booth. This is an ideal opportunity to hear how a customer views SWORD's innovative artificial intelligence technology that is enabling the French Army to engage in better, more realistic, and more cost-efficient training exercises, as well as how SWORD is now being employed across the army.

The past 12 months have also seen MASA deliver SWORD, used to train command staff at battalion, brigade or divisional levels, to a number of other military customers including Bangladesh and Singapore. The product's unique capabilities mean that large-scale exercises are conducted in the most realistic way possible, while minimising the combined operating costs associated with deploying headquarters staff. Preparing military command staff for operations is made much more efficient by training in a realistic operational environment, with joint forces and allies and in a variety of different battlefield scenarios.

Besides its military applications, MASA's technology and know-how can also be used for civil emergency planning or training functions thanks to SYNERGY, a customized version of SWORD for crisis management use cases. Over the past 12 months this additional capability has been exemplified by two key events. The first saw the French port city of Le Havre - the Communauté De l'Agglomération Havraise (CODAH) - being awarded the coveted Trophée de la Collectivité locale by the French federal government. CODAH uses SWORD for emergency, crisis response and security planning. The second event took place in Paris in September where SYNERGY was used in a large-scale flood exercise for the city of Paris to mirror the catastrophic events of 1910 when the Seine River rose by eight meters. Simultaneously connected to SYNERGY from separate model crisis response units, participating organizations were able to see the immediate results of their actions, as well as those of the others, during the two-day exercise. They were also provided with a three-dimensional overview of Paris on Google Earth that was powered by SYNERGY.

During I/ITSEC 2015, MASA is showcasing its latest version of SWORD, v.6.3. This latest iteration of the world-beating SWORD system adds a number of new features. The first of these is a multiple server capability that enables servers and clients to be administered directly using a single web interface. The key benefit of this feature is that it allows training center administrators and trainers to configure exercises remotely and initiate multiple training sessions in parallel, either from a central server or from remote servers via Cloud Computing technologies. The other benefit is that administrators can pre-configure exercises and select different levels of difficulty for individual trainees or units using a new Administration Tool that is central to the v.6.3 offering.

The other major change that has been enabled with the arrival of v.6.3 concerns the modification of scores and indicators during the actual exercise. Such indicators can now be modified dynamically during the course of the exercise to reflect changing situations or parameters. This ability to modify and define such factors as key performance indicators (KPI) is enhanced with a powerful editor that allows trainers to create complex customized formulae that can enhance and enrich the after action review (AAR) process. This allows trainees to gain much more from the constructive training process.

"The past 12-months have been very busy for MASA, not only in terms of fulfilling contracts but also supporting our growing customer base and developing and enhancing new technologies," said MASA Group President and CEO, Juan-Pablo Torres at I/ITSEC to MT. "Many of these latest technologies that form part of our products will be demonstrated at I/ITSEC. We are very proud to release this latest version of SWORD, our automated wargame, as it brings our customers so many new and innovative benefits that greatly improve the training and analysis that they can achieve. Our team of world-class engineers continues to work closely with our growing user community to maintain SWORD as the world's leading COTS-based constructive simulation system. As an innovative and state-of-the-art software provider, MASA recognises that military and civil defense forces around the world need high-fidelity, flexible, cost-efficient training and planning systems -especially with terrorism as a noticeably stronger and growing threat across the globe. Our mission is to support them in that aim."

MASA Group is exhibiting on booth 2224 and will host an open press briefing at 1500h on Wednesday, 2 December, at its booth.