3 March 2019
By Paolo Valpolini
With many of its turrets exhibited either in its stand or on chassis from different OEMs within the IDEX premises, CMI focused the company exhibition area on its training offer and more precisely on the so-called Cockerill Campus, which will soon open its doors to the first customers’ students.
Already involved in the training of its customers’ personnel, the Belgian company decided to optimise this building a true campus-like structure at Commercy, in the French Meuse district, one hour away from the Suippes French Army training range. The company took-over a former barrack, the “Quartier Oudinot” once home of the French Army 8th Artillery Regiment, transforming it in a hospitable structure that hosts both real-live and training facilities.
The training syllabus exploits classrooms, workshops, simulation rooms and firing ranges, where Agueris simulators, Cockerill turrets and real vehicles. The facility can host up to 120 trainees at the same time, and has been exploited for the first time to run a training course for CMI personnel, this course allowing to check any possible bug before hosting customers.
The aim of CMI is not to train the single soldier of a customer Army but to train the trainers, that will then take care of the actual training in their nation. The syllabus obviously differs depending on the student task; vehicles operators spend 10-15% of their time in classrooms, 50% in workshops, 20% on simulators and 20% at the Advanced Training and Firing facility (ATF) located at the Suippes camp.
The baseline firing training depend on the type of turret involved, but generally speaking for big calibres, 90 and 105 mm, each student fires 24 rounds, 20 of them representing the different combinations such as static, on the move, against static target, moving target, etc, with 4 spare rounds left to repeat a session if needed, 200 rounds of coaxial machine gun being also fired; medium calibre turret operators, 25 to 40 mm, fire 200 rounds of the main weapon and the same amount of coax rounds as the bigger calibre operators; if the army hosted acquired also the Falarck missiles for the 105 mm gun or if the medium calibre turret is fitted with antitank missiles from a third party, each operator will fire two such missiles. As for maintainers, these spend around 15% of their time in classrooms, the remaining time being spent in workshops; their course lasts six weeks, while operators spent five weeks at Commercy and Suippes, including live firing. With the experience acquired in the future these figures might change, training concepts being always under review to increase training effectiveness and optimise the syllabus.
The facility has already been in use for some time, exploiting the buildings that were completed in the build-up process, however Spring 2019 will see for the first time the Cockerill Campus being used at its full capability.
Photos Paolo Valpolini and CMI Defence