The time is now: We need innovative new training methods to rebuild Canada’s force generation cycle
It’s late April 2022, the tragedy of events in Ukraine continues to unfold. As high value Russian equipment is abandoned in a wholesale fashion, it is clear that the well-worn maxim that amateurs focus on tactics whilst professionals focus on logistics seems to have been forgotten. It would appear that the Russians have failed to prioritise creating a robust equipment support framework for frontline commands. It’s a negligent mistake, and one that we should all pay attention to.
At the same time, Canada is sending more soldiers and equipment to Latvia, and considering increasing its defence spending. It’s not enough to simply increase those commitments, we need to consider the logistics behind everything, including knowledge transfer especially as our equipment and systems become increasingly more complex, diverse in use and supported by a global supply chain of manufacturers.
How do we support our troops at forward locations and help allies with the equipment we’ve sent them? How can we solve problems across distance in a timely fashion and leverage our information networks to support our own servicemen and women to enhance equipment availability and operational tempo?
We need to be able to quickly and successfully get our qualified technicians the knowledge to get the job done. Within the last few years, remote training and support solutions have proven that using the highly visual concept of Mixed Reality for rapid delivery of training, at the point of need, is possible, and highly successful.
Delivering knowledge to the point and place of need
At Kognitiv Spark our focus has been to create a remote training and support solution that overcome two challenges: 1) it must be a good user experience and 2) it must work anywhere whilst being inherently secure.
COVID-19 has accelerated the need for remote solutions and digital transformation for many sectors. The need has been particularly acute for defence programs, and especially to support operational capabilities. While the increasing sophistication of our systems allows us to operate, plan, and respond in a way that we never could before, the knowledge required to maintain these complex systems has also increased.
To overcome this, knowledge, and expert support needs to available at the point of need.
“You have 45 minutes to be operational”
Our RemoteSpark solution has been proven to enhance operational tempo and force resilience in the face of unplanned, complex, and unpredictable conditions. Every military branch has the same challenges, including repairs, maintenance, and knowledge transfer. Our system, deployed on the Microsoft HoloLens, helps to reduce travel and the time required to carry out critical maintenance.
For example, with the Royal Canadian Navy, the focus is to improve maintenance and repairs aboard its vessels and systems, both at-sea and in-port. With RemoteSpark, the expert sees what the sailors sees. This allows secure exchange of documents, images, and models to facilitate complex troubleshooting and task guidance. RCN experts are able guide everybody, from the most experienced sailor to the least, ready to quickly perform a task and return critical equipment to service quickly and efficiently.
“If RemoteSpark can work here, it can work anywhere”
More than any other country, in Canada we know the tyranny of distance is real. Canada is a massive country, with a relatively small military. Remote northern communities exist under some of the toughest conditions imaginable.
This very Canadian problem has driven us to create a unique solution. We’ve created a system that allows remotely located operators to establish a low-bandwidth, mixed reality call to operation centers, subject matter experts and decision-makers anywhere in the world. Our success using global networking, and satellite-based systems, has allowed us to build a global real-time solution to support operations and provide knowledge transfer at the Edge in a way that has previously only been a figment of science fiction. Our unique MR over SatCom capability is being used to connect Ottawa to Resolute Bay, and to support missions around the world.
In the end, it’s people who accomplish the mission and we are very proud to support them in achieving their tasks with our world leading Canadian solution.
Kognitiv Spark is a Fredericton, New Brunswick-based tech company and Microsoft MRPP gold partner recognized for its success in the secure, reliable, and network agnostic applications of Mixed Reality for remote support.