Vanguard Magazine

Feb/Mar 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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T TechNOlOgy 30 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015 c an you print a gun? It's a question that Major Tom Batty is heartily sick of. Whenever anyone learns that the commander of the Army Learning Support Centre at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown has 3-D printers at his ready access, that is always the first question they ask. And he has his answer ready. "It's a very simple answer, and I don't mean to sound trite, but I tell them that the military already has plenty of weapons." In many ways three-dimensional printing, or additive technol- ogy as it is also called, is still in its infancy, but it has already at- tracted the interest of the world's militaries. In January 2014, Britain's Royal Air Force announced that it would be using 3-D printing technology to produce certain replacement parts for their fleet of Panavia Tornado attack aircraft. This past summer, BAE released a promotional video suggesting that print-on-demand drones could become a reality in as little as a dozen years. Located within the Tactics School of the Combat Training Cen- tre at Gagetown, Batty says the centre was created because the army realized "sooner or later we were going to have to review and modernize the way we did our learning." He and his subordinates – he has some 120 civilian and military Modern training 3d printing replaces the powerpoint Ian coutts is a freelance writer, author of four books, and a frequent contributor to Vanguard. personnel working for him, everything from graphic de- signers to imaging technicians – are using technology to im- prove the way soldiers learn their jobs. Their work embraces "everything that's more than PowerPoint and is just shy of a full-blown simu- lator. It's 3-D simulation, its things like you see on the History Channel like famous tank battles – it's really a whole series of capabilities." That includes the ability to make physical teaching aids using 3-D printers. As an example of the role that these printers can play

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