Mission Integrated Simulation: a Case Study of Simulation Supported Ranger Missions


  • Per Wikberg
  • Mirko Thorstensson
  • Peter Hammar
  • Gustav Tolt

Publish date: 2014-06-25

Report number: FOI-R--3816--SE

Pages: 32

Written in: English


  • 3D-models
  • After Action Review
  • F-REX
  • Game-based Training
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Planning
  • Serious Games
  • VBS2


The purpose of this study was to explore the potential benefit of using 3D-modeling and simulation as mission integrated tools to prepare, execute and evaluate a ranger mission. It was envisaged that for the ranger task force's execution of the mission, having access to an interactive 3D-model of the mission area would add value to the planning process, enhance performance during the execution and provide means for enhancing the debriefing. The study was undertaken in the context of an eight day exercise in which a 14 personnel strong ranger unit had the task of destroying an antenna. During the planning phase game-based mission rehearsals were undertaken by using a model of the mission area in VBS2. The unit established in the area and performed reconnaissance, executed the mission task, and subsequently left the area. The exercise was concluded by a hot wash-up and After Action Review (AAR). Data was collected by observers, questionnaires, GPS, voice recording, helmet mounted video cameras and team interviews. Preliminary results were presented and discussed with participants during the AAR. In summary the results indicated that the possibility to do a virtual reconnaissance was a perceived as valuable. However, additional information is needed besides the information available in the present 3D-model. Results also indicate that using the game to do an interactive mission rehearsal was valued relatively less. The usage of the model for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of different alternatives was also perceived as limited. The value of having access to a 3D-model was rather by creating a better mental model of the target area. Replaying the mission in the model gave also a better overview of the actual chain of events and thus enhanced the possibility to draw event-based conclusions. A conclusion is that mission integrated simulation does not replace any conventional tools or procedures. Still, a virtual 3D-model which is "good enough" gives a supplementary perspective which increases the understanding of the shortcomings of any representation of reality (2D map or 3D virtual world). Still, the 3D-model offers a more intuitive way of thinking of distances and angles compared to a traditional 2D map. The study also concludes that an adequate level of detail in the model of the mission area is necessary. Given a more complex mission context, the usage of the virtual model is expected to reduce the amount of time that needs for other planning preparations. Consequently, the conclusion is that the concept of mission integrated simulation is worth further exploration. By utilizing already available tools and platforms and focusing on solutions that might be realized within 5-10 years it should be possible to enhance efficiency and ability with limited investments.