MASA has delivered a completely customized version of its wargame with automated forces, SWORD, to the Bangladesh Army, in order to equip its Computerized War-Game Center (CWGC).
The Bangladesh Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARTDOC) has chosen to employ SWORD for command post training from Battalion to Division level. The software enables the Army to immerse its training audience in different types of military and civil emergency scenarios. SWORD can simulate and control tens of thousands of soldiers and units.
The customization program was delivered in just over a year, much faster than the industry standard for a fully personalized simulation system. The timely delivery of such a detailed and technical program, including training Bangladesh Army personnel to use the system, has been enabled by a strong working relationship between the ARTDOC personnel and MASA's engineers as well as by a shared belief in long-term partnership between the Bangladesh Army and the company. The delivery was expedited by the ongoing availability of key Army officers during the preparation and test exercises, as well as by the Bangladesh Army's deep knowledge of simulation tools and their high level of professionalism.
In total, the ARTDOC and MASA conducted three test exercises before the final program delivery, one at the start of the contract before any modifications to SWORD had been made, one midway through its customization process, and finally one after the software had been fully tailored for the Bangladesh Army. The ARTDOC chose SWORD not just for its capabilities to enhance training exercises but also for its features that can enable the use of simulation for analysis use cases, such as planning and decision-support.
The collaboration between the company and the ARTDOC meant that in February 2016 some 80 senior military personnel, including major generals, brigadiers, colonels and a range of subject matter experts, were involved in the final, week-long test exercise conducted by the ARTDOC and supported by MASA. A reflection of the Army's commitment, all 80 personnel were also involved in a week of training for the exercise before the test week itself. The exercise allowed for a final validation of the system, enabling Bangladesh Army personnel to use SWORD autonomously.
Colonel Minhaz, Director of the CWGC at the Bangladesh ARTDOC commented that "MASA and the Bangladesh Army have been able to build an incredibly positive relationship. MASA's commitment far exceeds what is written in the contract; their flexibility and ability to adapt to the Army's needs beyond the contract has really helped us to achieve program completion in such good time. We anticipate an ongoing strong relationship with MASA as the Army's demands for further SWORD features evolve with our use of the software".
The CWGC is the latest addition to the Army's ARTDOC and was inaugurated in November 2015 by President Abdul Hamid. Located in the Dhaka cantonment, the CWGC has been set up to help the army work towards the Forces Goal 2030, ensuring the modernisation and technological advancement of all of Bangladesh's armed forces. As well as ensuring national security, the Army has a proud history of supporting the United Nations and providing aid to the civil authorities in the wake of natural disasters, and has topped the league for the leading troop contributor, providing around 120,000 troops over 28 years. The customized version of SWORD has been designed to train the command staff to retain these core responsibilities and skills.