Many students have told me that this was the best course they have experienced in the RAF.
Squadron Leader Mike Lence
Part of the Royal Air Force, the Air Warfare Centre's training branch conducts a range of courses in the theory and practice of air combat with the aim of helping servicemen and women develop the necessary skills for air operations including intelligence, electronic warfare, weapons targeting and battle damage assessment.
Tutors at the Air Warfare Centre were concerned that students were spending too much time finding information and not enough time thinking about a scenario and developing plans. Instead of looking up geographical references in tables and then using sticky notes on a map they sought a solution that could speed up the process, providing greater insight and delivering more value to the students.
ArcMap, a Geographic Information System from Esri was selected and then customised to create a range of icons representing items in the database. Students can select the attributes they want to view such as airfields, non-military targets or communication centres and icons representing these features are visible on the map. Data is updated automatically as the exercise progresses.
Students spend less time finding out about the fictional area where the crisis is unfolding and more time analysisng the situation and developing military operations. GIS has become pivotal to the delivery of training courses and students get stuck into the exercises very quickly, working with a dynamic intelligence tool to acquire advanced operations planning skills.