Patrol and Troop Leaders within the King’s Own Calgary Regiment engaged in a virtual wargame January 16-17th, 2016 at Mewata Armoury. They planned, coordinated, and practiced command and control of combat operations using computer networks and simulator software known as MILSIM. The scenario involved the King’s Own Calgary Regiment fielding a reconnaissance squadron as part of a multi-national intervention force. The intervention force was tasked with restoring a safe secure environment in a fictional country that had recently had its government overthrown by a secessionist movement sponsored by a neighbouring country.
Soldiers were issued orders the previous weekend and conducted most of their planning and battle procedure at that time. The computer network was setup inside Mewata Armoury on Friday January 15th. On Saturday morning, soldiers received a tutorial on how to use MILSIM, and then the simulation started. Soldiers worked through some early communications challenges by effectively using their drills to establish radio nets. MILSIM allowed patrol and troop commanders to practice their skills within the context of a much larger simulated Brigade operation, supported by command posts at Squadron and Regimental level. The real value of this training was to assist commanders to develop the ability to accurate visualize what was happening in the larger battle by listening to the radio and using their maps, and then coordinate with each other to accomplish their assigned mission. Many of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment’s field training exercises only involve around a dozen vehicles, usually G-Wagons armed with machine-guns, and larger supply trucks. MILSIM allowed our commanders to train in a virtual operation involving hundreds of simulated vehicles, tanks, artillery, and aircraft.
The skills practiced in the Armoury during Exercise VIRTUAL SCOUT provides a foundation for the field training the Regiment will be doing for the rest of the year. In February, the Regiment will head to the foothills to practice winter warfare skills. In March, some of the reconnaissance tactics practiced in a virtual environment during Exercise VIRTUAL SCOUT, will be practiced in the fields of Canadian Forces Base Suffield during Exercise MOBILE SCOUT. The King’s Own Calgary Regiment trains every Wednesday night at Mewata Armoury, and conducts weekend training exercises around Calgary and at military bases around Alberta 1-2 times a month.