Systematic customers have today gathered in Spain for the annual User Forum. Over 100 key decision makers, partners and end-users representing 14 nations have come together in Madrid to explore the mission critical issues facing commanders in multi-national, multi-agency operations.

Now that coalition operations are becoming commonplace in military affairs, the User Forum examines the challenges of coalition command and control and the importance of interoperability to support decision making in contemporary operations.

Central to the debate is managing potential information overload from multiple organisations, multiple systems and multiple sources of information, where the cry is no longer ‘give me information’ but ‘give me the tools to process the information’.

This morning, the Opening Address was given by Lt General José Emilio Roldán Pascual, Commander of Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME), the Spanish Emergency Military Unit.

As a highly experienced Commander, he recognises the importance of understanding critical, life-affecting information, saying: "A prestigious company like Systematic puts the best tools in our hands. We contribute with professionalism and enthusiasm, for achieving a good job."

Meanwhile, major general Peter Kühnel, commanding officer of the Danish Division, gave a keynote presentation on how SitaWare Headquarters was implemented at a Divisional level to support staff process and information management. He also shared experiences from Exercise Yellow Knight where Division staff and four brigades from Denmark, Estonia and Latvia used SitaWare Headquarters to train the brigade commanders and their staff in operational planning and decision making, commanding their units, coordinating and collaborating with other units.

The User Forum runs until Wednesday 18th April, and includes a visit to the UME Headquarters at Torrejon de Ardoz Air Base tomorrow.