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Command Agents using BML for Tactical Decision Support

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Author: Bronkers, R.R.
Publisher: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Place: Amsterdam
Identifier: 461803
Keywords: Staff Training · Command Post Excercises · Mission Planning · War Games · Battle Management Language · Simulation · Organisation · MSG - Modelling Simulation & Gaming · BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences


Staff of the Royal Netherlands Army needs to be trained. Training is still possible when simple missions are performed during such training sessions. The higher in the hierarchy of Royal Netherlands Army, the more difficult it becomes to train the staff. Not only training is difficult, planning missions and mission rehearsal becomes more difficult when a staff member needs to give orders to a battalion existing out of over thirty-six tanks. Performing a training session with real equipment is too expensive and requires a lot of space, which is not always available. Due to the fact that the planning, training and mission rehearsal are almost impossible to perform in a live setting, an interesting alternative is simulation. Simulation can be used to activate all sorts of situations regarding the number of units needed. In each situation a different setting is possible. When training with soldiers it is possible that a repeated training has totally different results. During training soldiers can interpret an order, due to stress, dangerous situations, or bravery. The order then can be performed differently than originally was meant to be executed. When an order has been sent, the staff expects to receive reports. These reports state if an order is for example tasked or completed. Tasked meaning that an order is currently executed and completed meaning correctly executed and finished. It is possible that a soldier forgets to report back during a training session, or that a transmission gets lost. All sorts of errors are possible during real life sessions. Because of all sorts of shortcomings with planning, training and mission rehearsal on a high level in the hierarchy of the Royal Netherlands Army, it is very interesting to use simulation for these forms of practices of the staff. Simulation can be used for repetition, diversity, and consistency. In this thesis, the following question is explored: To what extent can simulation be used for planning, training, and mission rehearsal on Battle Management Language orders given at tank company level? Simulations can be performed using a Command and Control system, a Multi-Agent System, and a simulator. In the command and control system an order can be planned by the staff, from this system the order will be sent to the agent system. The Multi-Agent System will process the order and sent tank tasks to the simulator. After an order is performed the agent system will send reports back to the Command and Control system. The agents system created during the project processes given Battle Management Language order. It is possible to use the combined systems for training staff at a high level in the hierarchy of the Royal Netherlands Army. This provides a possible solution to the planning, training and mission rehearsal problem of the staff.