Encomium Research, LLC
     A Veteran Owned Small Business    Since 2003
"Tackling Neat Challenges with Neater Solutions"

Special Studies and Analysis,  Research and Development,

Architect and Engineering Services, Education and Training Services


Some of the Organizations, Programs, and Products We Supported

Combined Arms Planning Tool (CAPT) Testimonial


CAPT at 2008 Expeditionary Warfare School Career Course

“…overall value the CAPT contributed to your current fire support training…”

87 Responses received from the captains using the training system 

 Choices                    Quantity            Percentage       Cumulative

Greatly                          25                      29 %                 29 %

Substantially                  41                      47 %                 76 %

 Marginally                      20                       23 %                 99 %

Detracted                       1                        1 %                100 %

2008 EWS Captain Comments:

General value the CAPT offers to assist your unit develop and maintain core competencies:

Not printed in any order. 

  1. Solid Tool
  2. Great procedural trainer that would enhance traditional fire support training and planning.
  3. Extremely helpful and I plan to bring it to the forces.
  4. Good tool to facilitate building a fire support plan.
  5. Separation principles, timing, sequence of fires
  6. Great visual representation of your actual plan to QA it.
  7. Great trainer – easy to understand.
  8. Great value to review rules / principles and very beneficial
  9. High – A great way to see the integration of maneuver and fires without the initial cost of ammunition.
  10. Great tool, very impressive.
  11. In the future, if filling a FAC/Air O billet, this tool appears to be of great value in training all members of the FiST.
  12. I thought it was a pretty good tool for building my knowledge of combined arms.  My experience with it is limited.
  13. Extremely valuable, I actually learned something today.
  14. Very good tool for eventual Ops Os and Bn Staffs.
  15. Taught FS to a non 03xx and explained timeline and suppression for unit in the attack.  Very effective tool considering I have not used FS since TBS and recently at EWS.
  16. I think it’s a great tool!! It can support the planning fires in the battalion.
  17. Very good.
  18. Easy to do/use, but probably need a big screen for best training values.  Can be used two ways; either a check on practice missions or basing all training around the system.
  19. Helps make the leap between conceptual and practical application before heading down range.
  20. Great value
  21. Outstanding
  22. Great! Never did this before.
  23. A good tool to help understand deconfliction of timelines for fire support.
  24. Excellent appreciation of SDZs.  Great tool for understanding Quick fire plan and planning fires to support maneuver on objective.
  25. Appears to be a useful addition to C2PC
  26. High
  27. It does, sometime to develop is more would be useful.
  28. It seems like a very effective planner training tool, but I would need to continue working on it to improve/increase my proficiency.
  29. Greatly contributed to the ability to double check plans and visualize operations, would definitely assist aviation platforms in combined arms support planning.
  30. CAPT is effective and definitely assists in developing and maintaining fire support core competencies.
  31. Significant / Great / Easy to understand
  32. Good planning tool to quickly build fire support plan and visually depict it.
  33. Good tool to plan with, conceptualize, learn to problem solve.
  34. Good baseline
  35. Good overview material and related skill sets
  36. A good tool to visualize the plan in regards with timing and safety
  37.  Very good tool.  Adds realism and great systems of checks and balances.  As a lieutenant, I did this by drawing up my own Quick Fire Plan and handing it to the FSC or Senior FiST for review.
  38. Excessive rules application, encourages habit of thought
  39. Useful
  40. Believe that it could be of value to any unit
  41. I see significant use at battalion and company level.
  42. Good graphic planning tool for all members of FSCC
  43. I think CAPT is a great base line product which helps reinforce basic rules and concepts for the warfighters.  Limitations in more advanced tactics, but overall I feel it is a good product to help maintain a units core competency.
  44. Good program.  It doesn’t apply to my unit. I realize it is a work in progress though.
  45. Great training tool without hours of practice may not be applicable for real time fire support planning.
  46. Unsure due to my lack of experience.  However, CAPT does provide a good understanding of how to build a fire support plan.  Good baseline and user friendly.
  47. Allows someone who is new to apply skill maneuver that allows feed back and referral to guidance as a teaching point.
  48. I am going to a MEU so I am enjoying the experience with the various programs made available here for our training and use prior to returning to the Operating Forces.
  49. Great individual tool for FiST leaders to understand geometry
  50. Powerful tool for teaching and checking fire support geometry. Having canned SDZs, threat rings, min safe distances, etc., available instantly is a huge asset.
  51. Expeditionary operations
  52. Program offers good baseline training that incorporates maneuver and fires
  53. Great value in learning deconfliction
  54. Great training opportunity when field time or live fire is not available
  55. Outstanding tool that needs some refinements.
  56. Good once bugs worked out
  57. Valuable tool for beginners to understand how to integrate arms.
  58. Great program to work battlefield geometry
  59. Very little impact from assault support community but good FiST trainer
  60. It looks like there are several features which would enhance pre-deployment training programs
  61. It is somewhat valuable
  62. Good introductory look into FiST planning.
  63. Good
  64. With practice would be beneficial to the FiST
  65. Visualize execution / validate procedures
  66. It has a great deal of potential, however some of the bugs hat exist lead to bad habits
  67. I liked it – you won’t learn FiST planning from this but you can maintain your proficiency to some degree.
  68. I think it can be a good planning tool once the kinks are worked out
  69. Great way to visualize how all the units come together to form a coordinated attack.  As a FW attack pilot I tend to focus only on my piece of the attack
  70. It will be a good tool for the FiST to quickly develop plans and see them graphically depicted.  Good shipboard training.
  71. Provides a step by step process for integrating combined arms (RW, FW, Inf)
  72. Unknown at this time, need more time to use it.
  73. Value will be great when I get back to the operating forces.  Good to train junior officers and NCOs.
  74. Good tool for training, but limited tool for planning.
  75. Valid planning tool.  I see good use for routes and fires deconfliction.
  76. The CAPT has the potential to be an extremely valuable tool for training when time and ranges are at a premium.
  77. Little
  78. The CAPT would not be used in my unit because we do not plan fire support at this level.  We do plan basic call for fire for our convoys.  This tool is useful to those Marines who are directly responsible for fire support planning.
  79. Very beneficial for junior artillery FO.  Good tool to evaluate FOs and FiST knowledge prior to execution.
  80.  Good tool to build off of.
  81. I don’t see any value. If a battalion doesn’t have a Commander, S3, FSC, and Company Commanders capable of replicating the “SME” info here, then there are bigger problems and this program won’t help.
  82. Good. System needs to be a little more user friendly as it can get confusing making changes all the time, but this is a good training tool. 

What functionality / displays used by the CAPT would you like to see enhanced or changed?

 Not printed in any order. 

  1. More click and drag vs manual input.  Allow modification option (modify attacks, moves, etc.)
  2. Threat rings for anti-air units.
  3. Fix the modify capability to the drop downs.
  4. I would like to see a CAPT function the incorporates the fire support plan and logistics plan and see if the two of them flow on the time line.
  5. GTL to FAC deconfliction.  Have FAH be a useful feature (ex FAH 210-240)
  6. Previously entered attacks need to be easier to modify once entered.
  7. Build ability for CAPT to download geometries and schedules, etc., into EXCEL spread sheets.
  8. Modify the air routing to be deleted on the ROUTE SHEET vice deleting the mission.  Modify boxes to turn on 1x3, etc., vice 2 at a time.
  9. Everything identified as a (G) Goal in the Power Point Presentation.
  10. Three dimensional considerations for inter-visibility lines and terrain, similar to C2PC.
  11. The ability to terrain mask would add functionally to the CAPT.
  12. Being able to modify an action that you took for CAS.
  13. Include a FSP tutorial like EXCEL or Power Point has so if you had to use this to learn FSP you could.
  14. Use Final Attack Heading vice FAC.  The ability to set minimum safe distances easily.  Aircraft stay above and artillery GTL are in different units (meters and feet), but the computer thinks they are the same.
  15. Input methods reflect doctrinal methods (call for fire and 9 lines)
  16. The FAC cones make no sense.  You would say 210 to 240 but you type 240-210.
  17. Ability to modify.
  18. Friendly Patriot / BDZ / LAAD Airspace
  19. I am not familiar enough to say.
  20. Include radio traffic between agencies.
  21. SDZs, threat rings, FAH, etc., should be displayed as multiple overlays; something you can click on and off (individually, ie 81s, Hellfire, TOW, etc.)
  22. It does not permit any modification in place (You must delete the entire data and after that to add the new one.)
  23. It would be helpful if the “Check Plan” option included directions to fix errors.
  24. Be able to edit attacks / moves in timeline by dragging timeline graphics.
  25. Ability to modify existing tasks.  Ability to drag timeline in order to alter them if required.  Ability to add numbers without punching in a number format.
  26. Ability to modify attacks.
  27. Enemy icons being “killed” if sufficient firepower is applied to them.
  28. It’s almost perfect.
  29. Allow modifications of attacks / movements instead of deleting them and starting over.
  30. Allow use of whole numbers when seconds are :00.  Input mvt times by :Foot, HMMWV, Mech, Helo, for infantry units.
  31. Show varying intensities of probability of aircraft and Inf interactions, vice hit or miss.
  32. The yellow boxes alerting one needs to be ones actions on the target – it provides input to why.
  33. The ability to modify a unit’s configuration without deleting the information that has been inputted, IE an edit button that works.
  34. The rules that are violated need better explanation, a help page explaining rules may alleviate confusion.
  35. Ability to edit / modify maneuver info, attacks, targets, time lines, etc., once established.
  36. Not familiar with system at this time.
  37. Ability to modify with out deleting.  
  38. Change to Final Attack Cone.   
  39. Use of protractor for SDZ templates.
  40. Right click on timeline to make quick changes.
  41. Good displays, more maps.
  42. Terrain considerations should be added.
  43. The ability to change attack specifics without creating a new attack.  Access to some help/reference features to explain/correct identified failures with the “Rules Check Results” screen display.  When attacks are deleted info stays in the system; needs to clear.
  44. I can not accurately say yet since I have only worked through a few scenarios.
  45. Added connectivity from company level to Bn FSC level for digital training / rehearsal.
  46. Ability to “modify” without having to delete and start over.
  47. Integration to Power Point for briefings.
  48. PGM shot with RW – it says you need to mark for TOW engagements.  Be able to modify attacks.  Turn On/Off selected weapon effects measures.
  49. Ability to enter the time of arrival for maneuver first for maneuver units in order to backward plan rate of march along SDZs / threat rings.
  50. I think it works great.  It did freeze up a couple of times.  Not sure if it was due to the computer or the program.
  51. It doesn’t permit to modify “Attack” or “Route”, you have to delete the line and restart.  The attack window for the rotary wing doesn’t work with a negative time line.
  52. User should not have to go down to the “code” level to modify parameters.
  53. Final attack headings fixed.  All SDZs added, TTECG and P(i) at .01 with drop down menu for user to choose.  Functions tied better ie – move BP the RW firing point / SDZs shift as well. 
  54. Once a plan is established it would be beneficial if one could affect a maneuver or fire support change by grabbing the timeline like an icon and then moving said portion of the plan left or right along the timeline.  Another critique is to have a pop-up window when a mouse crosses over a threat ring to quickly delineate which ring that is.  Also delineate friendly from enemy threat rings by colors.  So the screen doesn’t become saturated at a specific phase of a plan have the ability to click on and off specific SDZs.  Also if you touch the timeline, have only the relevant SDZs and threat rings active at that time.
  55. I would say nothing at the moment.
  56. Ability to modify information in unit, fire support agency fields vice having to delete and start over.
  57. Click and drag symbols (ie HAs, SDZs, etc.) would be great.
  58. Ability to edit attacks once input.
  59. Tutorial or reference for fire support planning.  For example separation at time required.  Start up times, capabilities, etc.
  60. The ability to edit movement/attack profiles. The surface to air threat. I see the dashed ring, yet the program doesn’t recognize the fact that I have a SEAD package built in.
  61. Modify without deleting.
  62. Routing of maneuver and air vice just a line from point A to point B.
  63. Close up animation of fire impacts and effects.
  64. Interactive enemy.  RWCAS modify capability.
  65. Editing.
  66. Ability to modify data on rotary wing altitudes and routes and arty / mortar attacks.
  67. Link shooters to control points (ex helo to BP) so if CP locations is modified, aircraft data auto modified with control points.  Fix the “modification” of attacks so we don’t have to delete and then add to fix. Aircraft egress to a point (as directed) but then move to original CP.  When an aircraft egresses to a point, that egress point becomes the new CP for follow on attacks (unless otherwise directed).  Add a type of attack utility for maneuver, ie support b fire, attack.  Allow multiple weapons systems to be utilized by a maneuver unit and show range rings for them.  This allows for timing planning and support by fire position planning.
  68. Ability to plot routes using “click and drag” instead of returning to unit menu to manually enter grids.
  69. Don’t need to suppress ADA assets outside their weapon engagement zones.
  70. Measurement Tool – make a way that heading / distance can stay on map rather than disappear when you release mouse.  To change aircraft options such as arrived.  Make it a graphic interface rather than a metadata file.
  71. Too much time is required to troubleshoot and work around glitches in the software.  Learning stops when the user becomes wrapped up in manipulating software.
  72. The ability to modify attacks after initial input.
  73. Modification of RW attacks and indirect fire modifications.  Also possibly incorporate continuous and interrupted SEAD templates.
  74. Gray out the nonfunctional displays.
  75. FW Reattack window. 

What functionality /displays would you like to see added to the CAPT?

Not printed in any order. 

  1. Interactive for a live play with blue force trackers, to track the plan.
  2. Possible communication calls.  Communication tends to be the hurdle fire planners face.
  3. Integration with C2PC or Falcon View. GM Angle.  Ability to copy into Power Point. Simplified map additions.
  4. Found it difficult to simulate infantry actually clearing through objective.  Develop a function to enable infantry to do this – perhaps making use of mission tasks verbs to choose from once infantry is within a certain distance from the objective. 
  5. Degradation / Neutralization
  6. Logistics elements that I personally can use to see if my support requirements are in concert with fire support planning.
  7. Make the program show me how to fix violations identified in the assessment.  Ex Rule Failed: Enemy air defense AW1202 not suppressed at required times (SEAD Rule #)
  8. Once three dimensional maps are included for planning improve the ability to make maneuver routes more detailed rather than straight lines.
  9. A 9 Line function for the aircraft (FW and RW).
  10. Casualty Collection Points, CASEVAC
  11. Maybe something three dimensional.
  12. 9 Line / Call for Fire Generator to Add Attacks in addition to method currently used.
  13. Building the documents to support plan mode optional.
  14. Mouse driven (point and click) generation of routes for maneuver elements.
  15. Show when the targets have been destroyed.
  16. Allowing rules adaptation for varying circumstances, may allow for accounting for terrain.
  17. Terrain. Three dimensional view of trajectory / flight path that computer generates with timing.
  18. Terrain.
  19. Keyhole FW CAS template.
  20. Do scenarios come pre-loaded an how can I add/create/update scenarios?  Different missions for maneuver units; SBF, ABF positions, vice just attack. Also, it does not allow for use of combined arms within a single unit.  A unit will be task organized with multiple weapon systems, and should be able to utilize them.
  21. Enemy unit’s ability to move.
  22. Terrain masking for SDZs / Threat Rings.  Round count for firing units – can the plan be supported logistically?
  23. Add a pallet to select SDZs.  Grab timeline with the mouse to move forward or type in time on time table to pertinent phase.
  24. Additional mission packs. 16 is too few for a full train up.  Need multiple of the same type (suppress long / with short attack, etc.)  Urban keyhole set up like the basic package.  Option to use JPEG or map data files to set grids / terrain.
  25. I would add more maps, like C2PC.
  26. Good to Go.
  27. GM Angle should be added (maybe also Grid and Magnetic).  Graphic user interface to change default data and assumptions.
  28. Capabilities of aircraft with regards to its TOS and Load Out.
  29. None at this time.
  30. Interaction for a live play with blue force tracker to track the plan
  31. First person shooter view.
  32. Call for Fire and 9 Line integration.
  33. Basic editing, better integration with maneuver.  Right now seems under developed.
  34. Effects on enemy.
  35. During playback add some voice of standard expected radio traffic.  Incorporate a clock timer for testing or evaluation purposes.
  36. Quick fix is to flag erroneous “failures”.

Additional and unsolicited student comments found at the end of the survey.  Rather than attempt to place them in one of the response sections above, they appear below.  

Not printed in any order. 

  1. Good system which helped me to understand fire support training and planning.
  2. Initially hard to distinguish between erroneous rule violations and actual rule violations.
  3. Excellent geometry and principle check for fire support coordination.
  4. I will use it at 3d Aslt Phib Bn and will recommend to Assault Amphibian Schools Bn that they use it during their advanced unit leader and officer courses.  Our community receives little Fire Support Planning training otherwise.
  5. Wish I had this tool when I was an XO teaching lieutenants fire support planning.  GREAT TOOL!
  6. Typically I try to find a bright side, but not this time.  It would have been much more valuable to use this time for FST drills around a map with an actual human. The presentation amounted to little more than an explanation of the program’s current problems and what one day it may be.  A good FST leader or Company Commander can replace these drills without the computer hardware and prep time, and also provide much more meaningful feedback to the FST leader or team.  Unless directly ordered, I would never consider using this tool to train my FST.
  7. Not too shabby.
  8. Good for refreshment and rehearsal training.
  9. Too much time is required to troubleshoot and work around glitches in the software.  Learning stops when the user becomes wrapped up in manipulating software.
  10. My Marines would gain an understanding of the process involved and then appreciate their efforts in getting those aircraft to the warfighter.
  11. I think the scenarios would be more helpful if there was a list of things to accomplish with a corresponding timeline.  As it is, I merely fiddled around with the program and created attacks for two hours.  I never conceptualized an attack or formulated a combined arms effort although all the tools to do so were at my disposal.
  12. Great tool to plan fire and maneuver.  We end up conducting plans separating 99% Time and fail to workout timing and SDZs.