On the eve of ITEC 2019 in Stockholm, 14-16 May, MASA Group has confirmed that the Bangladesh Army has awarded it a contract for a further five years’ maintenance and support for a customised version of its flagship artificial intelligence (AI) based training solution, SWORD.

MASA signed its first contract with the Bangladesh Army Training & Doctrine Command (ARTDOC) in 2015. The company will now support the solution at the Army War Game Centre (AWGC), where it is used for command post training from battalion to divisional level, through 2023. Originally selected for its flexibility in customising client-specific capabilities, SWORD is now designated the Army War Game Simulation System (AWGSS) in Bangladeshi service and has been used successfully for over two years in a series of military and disaster relief exercises.

Last summer, the Army led a major disaster relief exercise at the AWGC, using SWORD and involving 24 separate agencies and organisations. The exercise, focused on post-earthquake disaster management and relief and conducted with close cooperation and support from MASA staff on site during the planning, implementation and after-action review phases, was designed to:

• Identify gaps and challenges in disaster preparedness and response planning;

• Enhance knowledge on laid down procedures;

• Improve ability to respond to emergency;

• Develop cohesive team work;

• Enable efficient perception management.

Bangladesh sits in a very sensitive spot geographically and is exposed to a range of weather-related natural disasters. We are particularly concerned about how the country would deal with a large earthquake. We needed to learn how all the different agencies could work together effectively should this occur, and what likely difficulties and obstacles we might face. Using SWORD, we were able to identify the risks and begin to work together as a larger team to overcome what would be a country-wide disaster [….] We have built a good relationship with MASA over the last three years, and the company really understands how we wish to use AWGSS to train our army, not just for military combat, [but] for humanitarian and disaster relief missions too. The continual innovation and research into the product reassures us that it will still be relevant over the coming five years, and we look forward to seeing its potential in the years to come, and to an ongoing strong relationship with MASA,” explained the AWGC Director, Brig.-Gen. Md Tofayel Ahmed, psc.

The use of SWORD has moved Bangladeshi command post exercises onward and upward from this previous disaster management exercise in 2013. (Photo: USARPAC)

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