Cesiva was born the 1st January 2004 in the home-base of the War School, when most of the previous training competences were transferred to the Army Advanced Education Institute – the Scuola di Applicazione – in Turin.
In that occasion, the War School changed its name in “War School – Army Simulation and Validation Centre” till the 1st of January 2006, when the old name was definitely taken away together with the last responsibilities in developing Officers courses.
Cesiva, whose commanding officer is the Italian LT Gen Luigi Pellegrino, nowadays is made by three different entities. The Simulation unit, the Modeling unit and the Doctrine and Lessons Learned unit, the latter under the direct authority of the Cesiva commander.
The Simulation unit in its turn is composed by a Coordination bureau, an Exercise Control bureau and an Exercise Management bureau.
While the Coordination bureau has a Planning section, the Exercise Control includes the Hicon and Locon section along with the Observer and Controller section. Exercises are managed at a brigade level and at a regiment level by the Exercise Management bureau.
During CAX and CPX, in other words Computer Assisted Exercises and Command Posts Exercises, the Simulation unit relies on a complete procedure encompassing the entire production of the simulation system from the scenario to the documents of every cell.
Adequate courses in technology and digital area are managed and run inside the Centre itself.
After conducting exercises all of these units take part in the After Action Review (AAR), which represents an important step to improve the exercise rationale and the simulation process in order to figure out a complete feed-back before discussing the Lessons Learned package.
In 2009, Cesiva performed 28 exercises, distributed in 17 regimental CPX/CAX, 10 brigade CPX/CAX and 1 divisional CPX/CAX. More than 2,000 persons were trained during these exercises, 1,365 of them are commissioned officers.
At this very moment, Cesiva is tailored to train contemporaneously 1 command post at a brigade level and 3 command posts at a regiment level in a Constructive simulation. In the next future these figures are going to double.
At present this Centre of Excellence (CoE) represents a milestone in Modeling and Simulation and in Validation procedure thanks not only to the innovative systems adopted, but particularly to the inspired long term perspective of the Italian Army General Staff planners who invested on professionalism and technology.
Cesiva is the ultimate training check through which every units – or even any individual – have to pass beyond in order to train itself and to be validated before being deployed in operational missions.
The impressive number of staff officers and units trained in this Centre is the terrific demonstration of the load of work Cesiva has to face. The mission of Cesiva is to keep on doing it at an outstanding and always upgraded level.
The least but not the last it is important to underline another mission Cesiva is fulfilling outstandingly. The in deep analysis performed by Cesiva of the After Action Reviews and the Lessons Learned coming from the results of the CAX’s and CPX’s played, are becoming a very critical tool used by the General Staff in identifying the development of new weapon system families adherent to the request and the necessities of the units on the battlefield as highlighted during the simulation role plays. This is an outstanding counseling service to procurement.
The way ahead for Cesiva is paved. The effort to keep this CoE at its best will require a dramatic commitment from the Italian Army General staff in terms of human resources and budget allocations.
Nevertheless the reward Italian Army will gain is to make available the Cesiva to the Nato international community.
Indeed its outstanding competencies and top level expertise will confer to Cesiva the leading position in the warfare simulation allowing Nato commanding officers staffs and units to train and prepare themselves to win the challenges the future operations will pose to the Alliance.
Centres of Excellence (CoE) – CESIVA the Italian Army Simulation and Validation Center in Civitavecchia (Part I) – (21.04.2011)
Photo credits: CESIVA; Paola Casoli il Blog