Cubic Mission and Performance Solutions’ Simplified, Planning, Execution, Analysis, Reconstruction (SPEAR) software suite was successfully operational at the air-to-air Checkered Flag 21-1 exercise. SPEAR is Cubic’s follow-on solution to its Individual Combat Aircrew Display System (ICADS), that has been the combat air forces’ live monitor and debrief system for two decades.
Checkered Flag brings deployed aircrew to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, to train with aircrew stationed at Tyndall and the surrounding Gulf Coast bases. The exercise included Joint and Coalition aircrew from the United States Air Force, United States Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, flying fifth and fourth generation fighters, acting as both blue forces and adversaries.
“Building on our extensive multi-domain experience, Cubic now also delivers to the warfighter a Common Data Model (CDM) for multi-domain data, in a game-changing common operational picture,” said Mike Knowles, president of CMPS. “For the entire exercise, every Checkered Flag 21-1 mission used SPEAR for both live monitoring and debrief.”
SPEAR delivered both technical and operational ease for the Range Training Officers (RTOs) and site administrators through a streamlined user experience that enabled over 75 aircraft to train and fight at once. The Air Force’s SPEAR hardware was installed in the course of a single day, highlighting the ease of setup and networking with modern software code while adhering to local security requirements. With only two hours of training, the Tyndall site admins and white force were able to ingest data, create a mission in SPEAR, manage their mission archive, operate the SPEAR server and provide training to U.S. Air Force RTOs.
“As demonstrated by results at Checkered Flag and Red Flag, we are seeing increased demand for the ability to effectively assess and adjudicate kinetic and non-kinetic effects, especially when we look at the importance of multi-domain operations,” said Jonas Furukrona, vice president and general manager of LVC Training, CMPS. “We have already secured a sale to a coalition partner for this capability and believe SPEAR will set a new standard in ensuring operator readiness.”
SPEAR improved training effectiveness by collating and displaying kinetic and non-kinetic effects in a coherent way using predictive and proactive real-time analysis, which is incorporated into the common data model. Additionally, the RTO’s ability to adjudicate events and effects with SPEAR accurately, with 75 aircraft in the air simultaneously and hundreds of weapons fly outs, significantly reduced the shot validation time post flight. Upon landing, aircrew were able to review and correct their weapons data to 100 percent, directly on a SPEAR client at the same time as others, due to unlimited independent “channels” in each mission.
According to Captain “Bullet” Gedman, a Checkered Flag RTO and F-22 pilot stationed at Tyndall, “With that capability, SPEAR produced a complete and effective playback of when, how and what happened, leaving the majority of the debrief time to figure out why it happened. In fact, SPEAR reduced the average debrief time by 90 minutes.”
Checkered Flag missions produced terabytes of valid, operational, enriched SPEAR data consisting of objective data, subjective data, kinetic data and non-kinetic effects, for a holistic post mission analysis. The enriched data set can now be used to evaluate Checkered Flag training effectiveness, design future exercises and provide exercise staff with important evidence for future upgrades.