Command Systems – making HQs and combat teams more efficient

Wapentakes has been analysing command systems – the combination of people, technology and organisation that helps a commander lead and make decisions – for twelve years but has provenance of nearly twenty years working for MOD and front line HQs. By examining the whole system, this approach was the first to identify the true benefits and costs of digitising command and still finds cheap and simple ways to enhance efficiency and opeartional effectiveness.

Command system assessment should guide equipment procurement. Wapentakes work predicted and then proved that the data component of Bowman would not improve operational effectiveness but these findings were lost among the froth of the digitisation bubble. Command system assessment can also be used to make HQs more efficient, deployable and survivable. Wapentakes assessments frequently find that HQs are overstaffed by forty percent and that this slows decision making and increases errors by thirty percent.

Previous work includes:

The Digital Dilemma – why digital situational awareness still doesn’t improve operational effectiveness and will probably make our soldiers more vulnerable.

A Bridge Too Far – a Wapentakes assessment of Bowman data for RUSI Defence Systems.

Dozens of studies and field trials, including: Mission Command & Digitization; Ex Big Picture 2, the Value of Digitization study, Command Systems & Operational Effectiveness, ISTAR Integration, analysis support to Task Force Helmand pre-deployment training, Assessment of Maritime Component Command, training assessment for Dismounted Situational Awareness.

Banner Pictures

1. Inside Task Force Helmand HQs in pre-deployment training 2008-2011. Wapentakes analysis of brigade HQs found simple solutions to reducing overload, errors, confusion and HQ size.

2. Nett Warrior 2016. The new generation of infantry situational awareness tools must overcome considerable reliability, usability, usefulness and -above all- security difficulties before they can yield real operational effectiveness benefits.

3. Inside an “analogue” battle group main HQ in 2005. The old ways aren’t always the best but things often got done quicker with dozens of hand-marked paper maps.

Assessing HQs

Since 2001, Wapentakes has analysed the structure, process and performance of the following HQs:

Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
1 UK Division
7 Panzer Division
1 Armoured Infantry Brigade
3 Commando Brigade (afloat and ashore)
4 Infantry Brigade (when armoured)
7 Infantry Brigade (when armoured)
12 Armoured Infantry Brigade (four times)
16 Air Assault Brigade
19 Mechanised Brigade
20 Armoured Infantry Brigade
The Danish Reaction Bde

And at least a dozen battle groups of all varieties, including airborne and commando unit.