Small Unit Mission Planning Using Digital Tools

Planification de Missions de Petites Unités à l’Aide d’Outils Numériques


  1. Colbert, H.J.
  2. Sartori, J.
  3. Massel, L.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
In this study, three sets of platoon leadership used a suite of digital tools to plan platoon-level missions in and around the McKenna MOUT site in Fort Benning, Georgia. The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of digital tools for planning and briefing platoon-level missions and investigate the advantages and disadvantages of different digital planning tools. Data were collected in the form of questionnaires comparing the acceptability of new digital tools with the in-service tools for planning missions and giving and receiving mission briefings. Questionnaire data were also collected to compare the three digital tools used: the Sextant Virtual Warfighting Tool (VWT), Delorme Topoquads 3D, and a model of the McKenna MOUT site designed using the source code of the first-person computer game, Half-Life. A focus group was held at the end of the study to gain additional feedback on participants’ experience with the various tools tested. Questionnaire results indicated that soldiers found the Sextant VWT to be the most comprehensive digital tool and best overall for urban awareness. The new digital tools were rated as better than the in-service method for mission planning in several areas including greater awareness of the terrain and the urban environment, and improved ability to estimate distances and identify positions. However, while questionnaire results showed that participants found it easier and less time consuming to understand briefings using the digital tools,

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;digital tools;mission planning;wayfinding;navigation;3D map;target detection;situational awareness;briefing tools
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-062 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Oct 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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