Army Spending Big on Training, Modeling, Simulation

 In GDI, Land, Defense, Cyber/ICT, Environment, Threats

Photo: Army

The mar­ket for Army train­ing, mod­el­ing and sim­u­la­tion capa­bil­i­ties has seen sig­nif­i­cant growth in recent years, and major oppor­tu­ni­ties lie ahead for con­trac­tors, ana­lysts say.

Unclassified con­tract oblig­a­tions for these ini­tia­tives totaled $1.6 bil­lion in fis­cal year 2015, accord­ing to a Bloomberg Government report, “Army Market: Budget and Opportunities.” That num­ber rose to $1.8 bil­lion in 2016, $2.3 bil­lion in 2017 and $2.4 bil­lion in 2018. Contract oblig­a­tions are esti­mat­ed to fur­ther increase to $2.7 bil­lion in 2019 and $3 bil­lion in 2020.

“The Army is mov­ing rapid­ly to enhance train­ing because of the renewed focus on poten­tial near-peer adver­saries,” said the report. “The train­ing, mod­el­ing and sim­u­la­tion mar­ket is strong and grow­ing.”

To bet­ter pre­pare for high-end threats, the ser­vice is cre­at­ing a syn­thet­ic train­ing envi­ron­ment that would uti­lize a com­bi­na­tion of live train­ing, vir­tu­al and aug­ment­ed real­i­ty, and gam­ing tech­nol­o­gy to enable indi­vid­ual sol­diers and units to con­duct real­is­tic, repet­i­tive train­ing any­where in the world.

The Army is also gung-ho on con­duct­ing exer­cis­es and exper­i­men­ta­tion to test new tech­nol­o­gy and mul­ti-domain oper­at­ing con­cepts, Cameron Leuthy, a senior bud­get ana­lyst with Bloomberg Government, said dur­ing a recent indus­try brief­ing.

“There has also been recap­i­tal­iza­tion going on with Army train­ing equip­ment,” he added.

Recapitalization ini­tia­tives with requests for pro­pos­als expect­ed by the end of this year include the Soldier/Squad Virtual Trainer, the National Cyber Range Complex, and Training and Doctrine Command’s G‑2 Operational Environment and Core Function Support for intel­li­gence train­ing. Upcoming major exer­cis­es include Cyber Quest 2020, Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments 2020 and the April-May 2020 Joint Warfighting Assessment, accord­ing to his pre­sen­ta­tion slides.

The Army’s plans to upgrade its com­mand, con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and com­put­er net­works will cre­ate new train­ing needs and oppor­tu­ni­ties, Leuthy not­ed. The net­work is one of the service’s top mod­ern­iza­tion pri­or­i­ties.

“The net­work issue is a huge prob­lem,” he said. “The cyber and the train­ing relat­ed to that is … where they’re going to invest.”

Additionally, the Army is plan­ning to move away from its Warfighter Focus, or WFF, train­ing ser­vices con­tract vehi­cle, which includes main­te­nance, oper­a­tions and sus­tain­ment of train­ing sys­tems, Leuthy not­ed. The con­tract vehi­cle has been worth bil­lions of dol­lars in recent years.

“In the train­ing are­na, this is a very big deal,” he said.

Looking ahead, the Training and Readiness Accelerator, or TReX, could see an increase in oth­er trans­ac­tion author­i­ty agree­ment con­tract dol­lars flow­ing through it as the Army pur­sues its syn­thet­ic train­ing envi­ron­ment, Leuthy not­ed.

The TReX con­sor­tium, which is man­aged by the National Security Technology Accelerator, is a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship intend­ed to bring togeth­er indus­try, acad­e­mia, lab­o­ra­to­ries and gov­ern­ment agen­cies such as the Defense Department to pro­mote inno­va­tion.

The orga­ni­za­tion “expe­dites devel­op­ment, demon­stra­tion and deliv­ery of pro­to­types to increase warfight­er readi­ness,” accord­ing to the TReX web­site. “With a focus on mod­el­ing, sim­u­la­tion and train­ing, TReX pro­vides the United States gov­ern­ment with an agile mech­a­nism to iter­ate and refine crit­i­cal tech­nolo­gies to keep pace with ongo­ing and emerg­ing chal­lenges. By active­ly incor­po­rat­ing struc­tured oper­a­tional user feed­back, TReX will iden­ti­fy and devel­op inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to inform materiel pro­cure­ment require­ments and acqui­si­tion.”

OTA agree­ments are a con­tract­ing tool grant­ed by Congress to help cut through bureau­crat­ic red tape asso­ci­at­ed with tra­di­tion­al Pentagon pro­cure­ment process­es. The author­i­ty enables the Defense Department to put com­pa­nies on con­tract more quick­ly for pro­to­typ­ing and fol­low-on pro­duc­tion.

About $3.3 bil­lion has already been oblig­at­ed by the Army for OTA agree­ments this year based on the lat­est data, but that num­ber is expect­ed to rise when addi­tion­al con­tract­ing data is avail­able, accord­ing to Robert Levinson, a senior defense ana­lyst with Bloomberg Government.

Leuthy added that “syn­thet­ic train­ing is like­ly to see an increase … through that OTA mech­a­nism.”

The vast major­i­ty of OTA fund­ing has been award­ed through con­sor­tia, Levinson not­ed. Bloomberg Government tracks fund­ing for 26 dif­fer­ent con­sor­tia.
The fee to join a con­sor­tium is often inex­pen­sive, Levinson said, and the invest­ment could be well worth it for con­trac­tors. “You can’t bid on the work, you can’t sub­mit pro­pos­als unless you’re a mem­ber,” he not­ed. 

Topics: Budget, Training and Simulation, Army News

Source: NDIA

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search