06 Apr 2017

Commandos go Digital

Exercise Information Warrior has been underway this past week, with the Royal Marines embracing digital technology in the largest exercise into data-driven warfare by the Royal Navy.

The marines have tested a wide variety of technology from miniature helicopters, satellite and streaming technology, low-energy-use computers, live camera feeds and wireless headquarters in an exercise which tested the equipment in a ‘real-time’ raid on an old fort in Plymouth.

Following on from last Autumn’s Unmanned Warrior exercise, where autonomous technology was tested for future use, Information Warrior has also been run alongside the twice yearly international war games, Joint Warrior, staged in and off western Scotland.

The exercise covers the gamut of information warfare – artificial intelligence, cyber attacks, exploiting intelligence, surveillance of the enemy, command and control – pooling the expertise of military personnel, academics, and industry.

30 Commando IX Group set up a unique operations centre in Stonehouse Barracks to conduct the operations. With 2.5km of cabling, the digital HQ features 30 plus screens being operated by personnel from all three services, plus industry and educational experts. Meanwhile, 450 miles away in Arbroath, an entirely wireless HQ was set up to feed real-time information directly into the hi-tech operations centre. A further outstation at Dartmoor used cutting edge cameras and minute drones to stream the exercise live.

Lt Col Nik Cavill stated that this technology means that the Royal Marines are: “constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation”

He continued: “The lessons learned here will give the brigade options to better operate in future areas of conflict.

“Information Warrior has displayed what a digitalised operations centre can look like and the command and control it can generate.

“It’s also demonstrated that 3 Commando Brigade is well-placed to plan and deliver these innovative technologies when supported by industry and academia.”

Images: © Crown Copyright


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