“The Time to Transform Military Training is Now”

By Keith Downes

Just back from the annual Defence Simulation Education  Training (DSET) Conference in  Bristol (28th February – 1st March 2017), and I really enjoyed this heavily customer focused event. It seems pretty unique in this respect. The themes were: Indirect Fires, Mortar Systems and DSET itself.

All very good, pretty uncompromising covering some very specific and pithy issues. It was all very honest and heartfelt but disappointing to hear a lot of what was being discussed probably 10 years ago under DTR. If the military is truly going to transform its training, employ a blended learning approach in order to reduce the training cost burden and improve quality at the same time, then now surely, under this state of contingency, is the time to drive the change. 



The length of the procurement cycle is close to my heart and probably all companies in the sector but particularly the SME who, apparently, the industry relies on for very necessary innovation in training development and delivery. I believe this is true but the flash to bang, from requirement to being on contract does little to promote this thinking and most SME’s just struggle to survive this time lag in a market where the authority publicly states SME support but practically employs a process that plays into the hands of large companies with deep pockets. 


It was a timely event with PeakVTS and DiSTI jointly attending, showing real intent to continue working together after recent changes in ownership for both companies. Barlow Blake from DiSTI made the journey from the United States with myself, Colin Hillier from the UK and Olaf Laqua from Germany. 

(Keith Downes is Director, PeakVTS; He is accessible at: keith.downes@peakvts.com)

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