American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies’ Program
ABCA
“Optimizing Coalition Interoperability”
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LESSONS, EXERCISES AND EXPERIMENTATION

The ABCA Program is a learning organization. It utilizes both national and Program lessons, exercises and experimentation to identify coalition interoperability gaps, determine measures to close or mitigate those gaps and to confirm the effectiveness of implemented solutions. The Program also exploits other sources where appropriate.

ABCA LESSONS PROCESS

The Program sources lessons from operations, training (exercises) and capability development (experimentation) activities, focusing primarily on lessons related to interoperability between Armies rather than single service, joint and/or national specific lessons. Lessons are processed as follows:

  • Collection. The Program maintains a Critical Topics List, refreshed annually, to aid focus Program and national lessons collection efforts. The Program regularly conducts lessons collection deployments, of individuals or collection teams, to operational theaters. Deployments occur under sponsorship of one or more Armies. The Program also sources lessons input from Armies and the Marines. Published reports from operations, training and capability development activities are shared where possible.
  • Analysis. The Program benefits from the collection and dissemination of raw data and observations but is better served when analysis is conducted to process observations into insights (i.e., trends) and lessons (i.e., solutions). Project Teams may be established to conduct this analysis, such as ABCA Coalition Lessons Analysis Workshops (CLAW). Additionally, Program Office staff, Capability Group and Support Group staff may conduct analysis.
  • Dissemination. Coalition lessons derived from ABCA activities are generally distributed in the form of ABCA Reports. Coalition lessons derived from other sources are generally circulated through National lessons NPOCs.

ABCA BIENNIAL ACTIVITY

As guidance, the Executive Council has agreed that ABCA Armies will plan to participate collectively in an exercise or activity every two years in the even years. The types of activities that may be conducted include a field training exercise (FTX), a command post exercise (CPX), an experiment, a seminar wargame and a seminar workshop or a combination of theses types.

The biennial activity is hosted by one of the ABCA Armies on a rotational basis. Often, and increasingly where possible, the exercise will leverage a national activity or exercise being planned by the host Army. Participation in and resourcing of the activity is decided by each Army. Planning is led by the host Army, with participation in lead-up Planning Conferences by representatives from each of the participating Armies.