Tunisian Navy officers improved their readiness at sea and knowledge on maritime modelling and simulation during a two-week training course held in March 2019 at the naval base La Goulette, Tunisia. The training was sponsored by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme to help Tunisia modernise its defence and upgrade its maritime simulator to NATO standards and architectures.
The training centre, La Galite Academy, is located in the Tunisian port of La Goulette in the western basin of the Mediterranean. Here, cadets, military officers and students of the Ecole Supérieure de Guerre train on a maritime simulator to improve their competences and be ready to face any threat.
Improving readiness at sea
Over 20 Tunisian naval officers attended the NATO training aimed at upgrading their maritime simulator with further simulation capabilities, such as anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare and environmental conditions.
“This course was important, as it ensured a fast learning and a qualified preparation for the navy personnel and it will directly improve our readiness and effectiveness,” said Captain Lofti Melliti, co-director of the course and head of the IT department of the Tunisian Navy.
The maritime simulator mimics various operations, from hybrid to conventional scenarios. ‘The core of the simulation capability is a constructive simulator which manages various assets such as vessels, but also aircrafts, general maritime traffic, potential threats and enemy vessels,’ explained Dr Alberto Tremori, modelling and simulation scientist at NATO’s Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), in La Spezia, Italy. Events and incidents can be added and the trainee has to make various decisions from tactical manoeuvers to detection and identification of possible threats with radars, and finally engage with the enemy.
Distributing the simulator to multiple locations
As well as additional functionalities, the Tunisian Navy requested to be able to scale the simulator towards a distributed architecture, so that it could ensure the organisation of training over multiple Navy sites, including the Academy or the Navy Special Forces base, so that they can train at their premises.
“The training was a two-way cooperation,” stressed Dr Claudio Palestini, SPS Advisor at NATO. “It was indeed instrumental in understanding the Tunisian Navy’s requirements and getting acquainted with their maritime simulator to understand its architecture, functionalities and how it should be distributed to other locations,” he added.
In the long term, the objective of the Tunisian Navy is to be compatible with NATO standards, to take part in NATO multinational exercises and to further strengthen the maritime security of Tunisia and its neighbouring countries. “Cooperation among the SPS Programme and the CMRE contributes to projecting stability and to enhancing Tunisia’s presence in the Mediterranean Sea,” said Dr Deniz Beten, senior advisor of the SPS Programme.
Tunisia is an active partner in the SPS Programme in the framework of the Defence Capability Building package and is currently engaged in activities which include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence, cyber defence, counter-improvised explosive devices and security-related advanced technology.