The Air and Space Power Centre and the Centre for Air Power Studies have come together and collaborated for:
Webinar: Effective Air Battle Management
- Group Captain Simon Wildermuth, Royal Australian Air Force
The Affordance of Gaming-Inspired Visualisations on Perception, Cognition and Decision Making of Military Operators using Battle Management Systems
At the nexus of the tactical and operational levels of war, Command & Control specialists ply their trade using sophisticated battle management systems that gather fuse and present data. This data is essential to the optimal execution of air operations; it's interpretation, manipulation and distribution is critical in reducing the 'fog of war' - the friction that arises when the actions of an opposing force influences the friendly plan of execution. Unfortunately, the realities of a slow and complex capital acquisition process have delivered battle management systems with displays that lag the graphics and gaming technologies of the society they protect.
My research aims to ascertain if there is a cognitive benefit achieved by substituting the standard military symbology used within battle space management systems with visualisations inspired by computer gaming. An experiment was devised for Air Force system operators (Air Battle Managers, Air Surveillance Operators, Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers) to solve a series of 'force matching' problems requiring consideration of aircraft type, armament and fuel state in relation to enemy force. Operator decision speed and accuracy was measured across scenarios of varying complexity utilising a range of different visualisations. An additional recall task was also included to consider demands placed upon the operator's working memory and to verify if substitution of the visualisation delivered any benefits. Operator demographics were captured in a survey to allow consideration of possible interactions with any identified main effects. Results show significant main effect of the new visualisations on the speed and accuracy variables.
- Wing Commander Swaim Prakash Singh, Indian Air Force
Integrated Air Battle Management in the Indian Context
India has been celebrating 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava' since 2022 to commemorate 75 years of its independence from the British. In these 75 years, India, the world's largest democracy against the backdrop of Unity in Diversity, has emerged as a nation that cannot be ignored in any field. Today, India stands tall politically, socially, economically, and militarily in the global world order. Therefore, the Indian leadership has defined the next 25 years as 'Amrit Kaal' until it's centenary year of 2032. This period will see India's rise and prosperity in all possible fields of development.
In its effort to remain more contemporary, relevant, and forward-looking, India is in the process of various tests and trials to migrate from many of the old, colonial, and low yielding practices, especially in the armed forces. The creation of the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff is one of the most significant defence reforms undertaken recently. Jointness, integration, and interoperability are a few issues being reassessed with a fresh look. Air Battle Management is one such binding requirement, encompassing all domains of conventional forces and the newer technological domains.
This talk will focus on the battle management system of the three services in general and the Air Force in particular. The talk would give a broad overview of the history of the subject, the generic operating method, the IACCS architecture, the development of C2, and so on. It would also bring out certain operational aspects of automation, enabling the commanders to orchestrate air operations better. A few future trends will also be touched upon to generate discussion.
Group Captain Simon Wildermuth
In his current role as Director of the Integrated Air & Missile Defence Program Management Officer, Group Captain Simon 'Beast' Wildermuth is also undertaking research as the Air Force Fellow looking into the cognitive benefits of using gaming-inspired visualisations in battle management systems.
Originally from Canberra, commissioning through ADFA in 1997 as an Air Defence Officer and Dux of his initial training, he was posted to No. 3 Control and Reporting Unit as a fighter controller and then subsequently to the Surveillance and Control Training Unit as an instructor. Through the 2000s Wildermuth spent several years in the United States, qualified as an Air Weapons Officer, upgraded to Senior Director and conducting developmental and type acceptance fight testing on the E-7A Wedgetail. Returning to Australia in 2010, he posted into No. 2 Squadron shortly before taking over as Executive Officer and qualifying as an E-7A Mission Commander and helping bring the Wedgetail aircraft to Initial Operating Capability.
Wildermuth spent time in several postings including but not limited to air operations instructor teaching join operations planning and targeting at the Australian Defence Force Warefare Training Centre, Deputy Director Battlespace Integration - Joint Fires within Australian Defence Headquarters and Executive Officer of No. 41 Wing. Accompanying the postings, he graduated with distinction from the Australian Command and Staff Course obtaining a Master of Military and Defence Studies.
Wing Commander Swaim Prakash Singh
Wing Commander Swaim Prakah Singh is a cat AYE, MFC, Command Examiner, qualified APM, and AWACS Mission Commander with over 1000 hours of flying.
He also has been Directing Staff at DSSC, Wellington. The officer has commanded two MOFs at Leh where these units were awarded with CAS Unit Citation in 2006. He has also raised a Transportable Rdar Unit (TRU) and resurrected a strategic Signal Unit (SU). The officer was part of the three member Tri-Services Indian Expert team to review the course curriculum of the Command Staff College of Tanzania in 2016 which led to the opening of Indian Armed Forces Training Team (AIFTT) there in 2017.
He has also been to Israel, Russia and China. The scholar warrior holds MSc, M Phil in Defence and Strategic Studies and is currently pursuing PhD (thesis submitted) in the same field. Presently, the officer is working on a book project on "Air Power and the Integration of the Indian Armed Forces". The scholar warrior is currently employed as a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies. The officer has been commended by the AOC-in-C WAC in 2006 and by the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff in 2016.