Within the Armed Forces Staff (EMA), the Centre for the Planning and Conduct of Operations (CPCO) is at the heart of the crisis management process, both upstream (strategic intelligence, planning) and downstream (conduct of operations). At the core of the French operational chain of command at the heart of the Balard hexagon in Paris, it brings together the capabilities for planning and conducting operations at the strategic level.
The CPCO regularly organises strategic reflection workshops in which the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, various branches of the Armed Forces Staff and sometimes international civilian organisations participate. Focused on a region of interest to France, these workshops take the form of strategy games simulating conflict situations during which a specialist from each organisation/state of the region plays its own role.
The CPCO and the French Innovation Défense Lab have worked on a digital version of these workshops, which have been carried so far using physical gameboards. For this purpose, the Crimson solution, a hypervision and operations management platform, was chosen and CS GROUP developed a simplified version to provide a user experience adapted to this use case.
This "CPCO" version of Crimson allowed a better interactivity between the players as well as more game variations than with a physical board, while remaining very simple to use. It was successfully used for the first time during the last Strategic Global Games, held in June 2020, under the patronage of the Chief of the Armed Forces Staff, responsible for military operations. This digitalisation approach proved particularly effective in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis, since the assembly had to spread out over several rooms to comply with the distancing measures.
Le général Lecointre, Chef d’état-major des armées devant l'application Crimson