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Chris Willis: Army’s Maneuver Battle Lab Creates Experimentation Space for Smaller Formations

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The U.S. Army is enabling smalls groups of warfighters to practice more in multiple domains such as cyber and space areas through field experimentation, simulation and modeling, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

“What we’ve been working on the last two or three years is improving our capability to conduct what we call nonlethal simulation of nonlethal effects inside simulation,” said Chris Willis, deputy director of Army Futures Command’s Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning in Georgia. 

“We are looking at what is the effect on those smaller formations and those maneuver combat formations as opposed to the larger Army formations and how do we fight in those domains at that larger echelon?,” he added.

One of the lab’s experiments is Quick Look VI, which involves the use of electronic warfare modeling platforms by soldiers against a near-peer threat.

Willis said the service branch wants to improve its teams and systems through such experiments.

“This has been an intuitive iterative process,” Willis said. “We’re focused on cyber for others. So as a layman, as an armor soldier, as a cavalryman, how do I train those soldiers for this? How do I inject cyber effects inside experimentation to understand how it affects those maneuver soldiers? That’s really the way forward.”