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How can command post training evolve?

Land Forces Doctrine Review
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In this article, we will try to imagine a picture of PC training in the 21st century. The paths we are taking, in the form of three ideas, are utopian, but are intended to clarify the outlines of tomorrow's training, to stimulate reflection, and to glimpse the options that are open to the Army.

Deploy an agile, break-away PC system in the field

The 2007 Memento of PCs in Operation83 calls for the PC system to be divided into one or more agile and stealthy modules, linked together at varying lengths84 within a "PC zone" of variable size. In theory, this clever design makes it possible to reconcile the growing footprint of PCs with the need for mobility and stealth. It has been partially applied both in operation and in exercise, but rather to adapt the PCs to geographical needs, in a basic logic (division of the PC into several sites) and therefore essentially static. Today, the return of high-intensity conflicts tends to prove the relevance of this doctrine, even if it must now be truly tested and proven in a semi-permissive environment. Let's imagine for a moment its implementation: a level 1 or 2 PC system is deployed in the Champagne camps. If the central elements of the PC are installed in the Maunoury car park in AMPC, the rest of the PC system, fragmented, is deployed in a nearby area, in open ground or in the other camps, which constitutes the PC area.

The whole system collaborates natively thanks to to SICF85 tools, and tomorrow SIA86, which brings together the different functionalities of PCs. Mobility is ensured by the lightest PC modules that switch. The heavier modules, such as the fragments of the Divisional Logistics Base, use camouflage means to hide, using the relief and the different compartments of the terrain (forest, vegetation). Buildings or occasional structures can also be used to house the PCs, which can also be partially buried, thanks to engineering support. The ground footprint of the PC system is reduced to a minimum thanks to staffs that train on a day and a night boarding. The electromagnetic signature is limited by energy rationing. CIS requirements are carefully tailored to ensure system robustness and redundancy while avoiding the excessive accumulation of computing resources. Finally, the PC is protected by units that are trained in the specific know-how of protection: melee units, ground-to-air defence units, elements of Computer Defensive Fighting (CDF). Find a progression Instruction - Training - Control

The second idea is to separate what falls under CP exercises from staff procedures training. Doctrine87 originally distinguishes four stages of CP training (Individual and cell training, decision-maker training, CPX1, CPX2) but the expeditionary phase is not the same.experience shows that the deployment of CPs is often used as a procedural training ground for a large part of the staff and as a rehearsal ground for the rest. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, procedures have become increasingly complicated over the past decade: the strengthening of France's place in NATO has raised the level of demands on our staffs88. Secondly, the appearance of new highly technical features (such as targeting or cyber) has made the decision-making process denser while requiring specific know-how that takes a particularly long time to acquire. But the end of the implementation of the model

Au Contact, the new Military Programming Law (LPM) 2019-2025 and the prospect of France's NRF89 alert in 2022 offer excellent prospects for reintroducing quality training sequencing. This could take place in the following way: high-performance training, conducted in France or in NATO schools, would enable staff personnel to acquire the necessary high level of technical competence. Individual and collective training would then take place in one or more quarters using infrastructure CIS. This phase, similar to what the RRC-FR is doing, could take place in a training centre with pre-existing infrastructure, capable of hosting a staff on a "Battle Staff Training" format, as at JFTC90 in Poland or JWC91 in Norway.

In the long term, one could even imagine France setting up such a centre, on the current basis of the CECPC92 for example (which can only accommodate levels 3 and 4), which would have the advantage of saving on resources and MPCA movements. The final phase of training, or the control phase, would take the form of a real CP exercise, where the training objectives ( Training Objectives") would not focus on knowledge of staff procedures but on achieving tactico-operative objectives. Here the staff would switch from a learning logic to a performance-oriented logic.

The end (the search for tactico-operational results) would therefore be favoured over the means (the repetition of procedures), with the support of an adapted and ambitious scenario.
"Train as you fight".

Originally developed to analyse operations in the early 1980s93 , simulation software has become the basis for PC training. The JTLS94 software, for example, allows various functionalities to be taken into account, such as the integration of logistical manoeuvring or the effects of nuclear and chemical attacks. However, like all information systems, they have limits, and these limits are far more often human than computer-related.

If any staff officer is asked to comment on simulation, he or she will most certainly talk about the legendary "magic move", the EXCON operation that consists of speeding upHe will most certainly talk about the legendary "magic move," an EXCON operation that involves accelerating or moving troops in an unrealistic manner, either to avoid a staff action (crossing) or to "stick" to the scenario flow. This type of movement is, of course, impossible when a staff is producing orders for flesh and blood units, i.e. in a LIVEX. In a LIVEX, even very partial (a small part of the order of battle is armed by real units, the rest is based on simulation), the staff must take into account the rhythm of the units and the logistical maneuver, even insignificant, immediately complicates the decision process. If one adds to this training the real CP maneuver mentioned above, the result is a particularly difficult exercise for the staff. If the real CP manoeuvre mentioned above is added to this training, the result will be a particularly difficult exercise to organise, at great cost and with such a level of confusion that it will be very difficult for the staff and EXCON to conduct.

A very difficult exercise to conduct, yes, but one that bears a striking resemblance to war! It is for this reason that NATO is organising increasingly important LIVEX exercises, such as TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18, which in November 2018 brought together 50,000 men and up to 10,000 vehicles in Norway95. Thus, we formulate the following idea: while the use of simulation is indispensable for rehearsing staff procedures at the headquarters or training centre, any deployment of CPs in the field should necessarily be accompanied by troop deployments. COME2CIA96 is already working on this subject with the concept of the Joint Training Pole (JTP) in the context of the SCORPION battle.

From the beginning of 2019, this centre should make it possible to combine the manoeuvring of elementary units in the Champagne training camps with the control of the GTIA97 level by the brigade level. This type of training will certainly revolutionize the training of level 3 and 4 PCs and bring very significant qualitative gains. By extending this reasoning to the larger exercises, perhaps by organizing less of them or by combining them with smaller exercises, we could certainly expect identical gains for level 1 and 2 CPs.

Warrior spirit

The Army Chief of Staff has stated the warrior spirit as an ambition for the Army. Of the three pillars that make up this warrior spirit, two of them can be directly applied to the training of PCs in the 21st century: warfighting and high technology. Preparing to defeat the adversary, in difficult, symmetrical contexts, where we may only benefit fromlimited air and cyber superiority (or even an unfavourable RAPFOR) can only be achieved with a very high level of requirements. We have listed several ideas: they aim to initiate a reflection on PC training, with the idea that the LPM 2019-2025 and the arrival of the SCORPION fighter give us the opportunity to review our ambitions from the top. Finally, because we are an experienced and operationally oriented army, our allies expect French staffs to be able to provide the best possible support to the French Army.But they expect more than just a standard level of competence, they expect us to be the driving force, to set the course in the field of training. It is up to us to remind them, by associating them with new PC exercises that are as difficult as they are exciting, that sweat spares blood.


83 TTA 956, Command Organisation of Large Tactical Units in Operation, Centre for Doctrine and Use of Forces, September 2007.
84 And therefore with different means of communication: radio, radio relay or satellite.
85 Forces Command and Information System. This is the land tactical information system
for levels 1 and 2, complemented by NATO's FAS (Functional Area Services) tools
. It will be replaced in the coming years by AIS, a joint system.
86 Army Information Systems.

87 Mémento PC de LCC, Commandement de la Force d'Action Terrestre, édition 2, juillet 1999.
88 L'armée de Terre au défi de la réintégration dans l'OTAN, Cahier du RETEX, CDEF, Octobre 2013.
89 NATO Response Force.

90 Joint Force Training Center.
91 Joint Warfare 92 Command Post Training and Control Center
93 Rolands company website,, accessed 12 December 2018
94 Joint Theater Level Simulation - Global Operations (JTLS - GO) is the primary simulation tool for Level 1 and 2 exercises used by NATO member forces at
. Developed by the American firm ROLANDS, it is deployed and implemented in France by the Centre de Simulation pour la Formation, l'Entraînement et l'Expérimentation (CSFEE) of the École Militaire.

95 NATO website,, accessed 12 December 2018.
96 Joint Training and Combat Schools Command.
97 Joint Battle Group.

98 Image from,, accessed 19/12/2018.
99 This is a screenshot of the official JTLS presentation by ROLANDS, available on YouTube:, accessed 19/12/2018.

Title : How can command post training evolve?
Author (s) : Chef de bataillon Jean-Baptiste BLANDENET