12
Apr

ENDEX at Uppsala Site

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i Okategoriserade

End of Exercise or ENDEX, means that the Viking 14 Exercise at the Uppsala site is over. After intense staff work during ten twelve-hour work-days, Wednesday April 9th saw the crisis in the fictitious country of Bogaland come to an end. For the officers and civilian staff members this meant almost the end, because immediately after the end of the actual gaming part a post-exercise evaluation, or “After Action Review”, was conducted among all sections and branches. The objective of the Endex-reporting is of course to get the information needed to learn from the Viking 14, what could be improved during future exercises. Finally, as Wednesday afternoon came to its end, the Air Component Command and its operations center, the so called Combined Air Operations Center or CAOC, was filled staff members winding down after an intense period, as you might see from the pictures.

Actually, once all planning processes, order directives and current operations were over, they rather seemed like happy campers. Or as it goes in the air force; trimming out and levelling off.

Text: Mj Max Hasselblatt

Photos and edits: Lt Lotta Åhdén and M Hasselblatt

 

09
Apr

”Hereby I declare Viking 14 concluded”

Anmäl Av:
i Swedint

Today at 17:30 the closing ceremony was held at site Kungsängen. Brigader Bengt Axelsson, director of Exercise Control (ExCon) during Viking 14 was invited to speak. He stressed the importance of handling media, cooperation and the importance of handling conflicts during an exercise like Viking 14. Diplomas were given as well.

The closing ceremony will be followed by closing dinner for all participants.

140409_Closing Ceremon_(AG) 115140409_Closing Ceremon_(AG) 094 140409_Closing Ceremon_(AG) 096140409_Closing Ceremon_(AG) 118

09
Apr

EU Civil administration mission in Bogaland

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i Okategoriserade

13733129794_9672057e84_bPhoto: Richard Kjaergaard, Swedish Armed Forces

New for this Viking exercise is that for the first time there is a civilian EU mission in Bogaland. The mission is multinational with 17 participants from Germany, Holland, Sweden and Finland. The fictive Head of Mission Mrs. Sofie From-Emmesberger, the Finnish ambassador of Kenya. The mentor for the mission is the very experienced expert Yves de Kermabon that has had real life experience of being HoM for EUJUST LEX in Kosovo, he contributes with very valuable feedback to the HoM and the mission as a whole.

The mission trains a variety of functions for real-life situations concerning media, legal advertising, reporting, training and advising of Bogaland Ministries and liaison with different actors including the European External Action service (EEAS) in Brussels. The training is very intensive for all functions and offers a unique possibility for civilian-military interaction with actors like BFOR, UNIMIB and EUBG on various issues happening in Bogaland.

One example of a civil-military training situation from the VIKING 14 exercise was the signing of a technical agreement on security assistance between EUCAM and BFOR.

Erika Sundelin/LEGAD EUCAM

09
Apr

Computers: The Core of the Exercise

Anmäl Av:
i Viking

Viking 14 is getting close to ENDEX and it is time to wrap everything up and get ready
for the transition back to a “normal” life again. It has been an interesting and challenging
exercise, especially with regards to the different technical parts.

Viking has been performed six times before and there has been major technical changes over the years. We have also evolved how to perform a CAX (Computer Assisted eXercise), both in regards to computer environments and training methodology.

CIS CON Tech VTC
Photo taken in the CIS CON Cell in Enköping during the Morning Tech Status VTC by Per-Philip Sollin on 2014-04-05.

What is new?
The Viking exercises are usually a great driver for improving the technical solutions at
hand, and this exercise is no different. Major work has been done on the technical
platform for providing Distributed Exercises like Viking 14. Here are some of the news in
a little bit more detail.

Virtualisation Platform
We have finally migrated to a solution that will allow us to make sure all our services are
provided from a virtualised platform. This enables us to easily maintain, upgrade and
improve the software used in exercises. We will also use this Virtualisation Platform to
deliver the exercise services as thin client applications in future exercises.

VMWare vCenter Screenshot

Screen Capture in VMWare vSphere Web Client by Per-Philip Sollin on 2014-04-09.

Distributed Simulations and C2-Systems
This time the Viking Exercise is configured in a much more distributed way, and
according to the FMN (Future Mission Network) concept, both Simulations and C2-
Systems are distributed across multiple sites. In Sweden we have simulators running
from Enköping (Tyr), Uppsala (ITC) and from the non-Swedish sites we have JCATS
running in Bulgaria, Georgia and Serbia. Together these simulators make up the picture
for all forces deployed in the simulated exercise environment and helps the response
cell personnel do their job.
On the C2 (Command and Control) side we have ICC running from Uppsala and
SitaWare running from all Swedish sites as well as Ireland. This software is used to
deliver different Operational Pictures for everyone in the exercise, a ground truth view
for the Exercise Control, an input view for the Response Cells and finally a Current
Operation Picture view for the Training Audience.

Bogaland Cooperative Environment
The Bogaland Cooperative Environment is a way to practice working in the FMN
configuration. This way of connecting services from different countries, branches and
organisations is what allows us to connect SitaWare from Sweden with SitaWare from
Ireland. The work with adapting exercise resources to a FMN capable configuration will
continue after the Viking 14 exercise. http://www.act.nato.int/article-2013-1-16

CAXCCIS – The New Computer Assisted eXercise Environment
The CAXCCIS setup (Computer Assisted eXercise Command and Control Information
System) is new for this Viking and essentially gives us an environment that is configured
in a standardised fashion which also happens to be very close to what the Swedish
Armed Forces are using in real life operations. The main components of CAXCCIS are
the Microsoft Office Suite and Systematics SitaWare Suite.

CAXCCIS in Practice

Photo taken in LCC ACOS Cell in Enköping by Per-Philip Sollin on 2014-04-07.

Chat
One feature in CAXCCIS that is being used a lot by the participants is the Chat function.
The current chat service is new to CAXCCIS and being tried for future exercises but it
has already become a great success with more than 1100 simultaneous users
connected to the chat server.

SparkWeb

Screen Capture in the SparkWeb Chat client by Per-Philip Sollin on 2014-04-09.

More accessible
One major difference for this exercise is that we have increased the possibility to reach
exercise services such as email, chat, WEBCOP and the portal from public internet. This
have probably helped a lot in increasing the usage of new services like the chat function
and the WEBCOP C2 view.

Outlook_Web_App

Screen Capture in Microsoft Outlook Web App by Per-Philip Sollin on 2014-04-09.

Future
The steps ahead are are to get started preparing for the next series of exercises and
getting the virtual client solution ready for practical use.

One more thing…
We want to give you a preview of the power of the new hardware system. Currently we
have roughly 90% of all systems that are necessary to perform a CAX of the Viking size;
as guests in the new Virtual environment; and we are not even using half of the
available resources. The future for distributed CAX in Sweden looks bright indeed…

Virtualisation Status

Screen Capture in VMWare vSphere Web Client by Per-Philip Sollin on 2014-04-08.

//The Technical Organisation for Viking 14.