Grafenwoehr, Germany (Feb. 9, 2018) -- The 7th Army Training Command's Joint Multinational Simulation Center (JMSC) in Grafenwoehr, Germany, was awarded the Army Modeling and Simulations award for fiscal year 2017. The center was recognized for their opposing forces' (OPFOR) efforts in modeling an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) swarm during exercise Saber Junction 17 at the Hohenfels Training Area from April 25-May 19, 2017.

A UAV swarm is a flock of drones operating as one force and for the first time, was implemented in a U.S. Army Europe multinational training exercise.

Imagine 60 drones linked together where each drone is able to send and receive information to and from each other while flying overhead in various kinds of formations, explained Kenneth Abramowski, the deputy chief of the intelligence and security division at JMSC. This dangerous concept exists and this sort of realism is something to inject into training exercises to modernize and strengthen Army forces as well as to deter aggression.

Capt. Craig Maybee, the OPFOR lead, developed the UAV swarm that was introduced into last year's exercise. He's also the first person to replicate any kind of drone swarm.

"The UAV swarm is an adversarial threat capability that exists today and is continually evolving," said Maybee. "In order to develop lessons learned to counter the UAV swarm, the JMSC OPFOR team has utilized the Simulation environment to replicate the threat."

Maybee used a simulation platform to construct a multi-faceted threat capability that the OPFOR could use at no additional cost to the Army, said Maybee. The JMSC OPFOR will continue to refine the newly-introduced capability to emulate an emerging threat in a complex environment.