I/ITSEC NEWS: Pentagon Wants Services to Step Up Cooperation on High-Tech Training

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I/ITSEC NEWS: Pentagon Wants Services to Step Up Cooperation on High-Tech Training

Photo: Navy

ORLANDO, Fla. — As the mil­i­tary ser­vices work toward inte­grat­ing more sim­u­la­tors and vir­tu­al tech­nolo­gies into their train­ing, the Office of the Secretary of Defense is look­ing for ways to pro­vide them strate­gic guid­ance.

It is impor­tant for the ser­vices to ensure that their work is inter­op­er­a­ble with each oth­er as they pur­sue these tech­nolo­gies, Fred Drummond, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for force edu­ca­tion and train­ing in the office of the assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for readi­ness, said Dec. 3.

“We have to be inter­op­er­a­ble,” he said dur­ing the annu­al Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida. “Everything we do now, I believe must be based on that vision that it has be inter­op­er­a­ble.” The con­fer­ence is host­ed by the National Training and Simulation Association, an affil­i­ate of the National Defense Industrial Association.

The ser­vices need to have data­bas­es that will pro­vide all ser­vices with the same threats and vir­tu­al worlds, he said. For instance, the Army’s “one world geo­data­base” would allow all ser­vices to vir­tu­al­ly oper­ate in the same areas, he not­ed.

“We can­not have … a Marine heli­copter train­ing sce­nario synched up with an Army sce­nario and the Marine heli­copter lands 10 feet under­ground in that Army con­text,” he said.

Drummond said he envi­sions these as gov­ern­ment-fur­nished equip­ment.

“I don’t care what com­pa­ny pro­duces this stuff,” he said. “I just need, from an oper­a­tor stand­point, the folks in uni­form who are using these sim­u­la­tors … all work­ing on the same data.”

So far, the ser­vices have pro­ceed­ed with these syn­thet­ic envi­ron­ment pro­grams with­out strate­gic guid­ance from OSD, he not­ed. For exam­ple, the Army is pur­su­ing a syn­thet­ic train­ing envi­ron­ment through one of the cross-func­tion­al teams it has set up to pur­sue its top mod­ern­iza­tion pri­or­i­ties.

“We absolute­ly are behind them,” Drummond said. “The ser­vices have not wait­ed for OSD, nor should they have when they are deal­ing with chal­lenges to increase capa­bil­i­ties. So there­fore we have pro­grams that are put in place and devel­oped over the years, but they hap­pen from a ser­vice-cen­tric stand­point.”

Drummond said his office may put out strate­gic guid­ance doc­u­ments on the top­ic. However, he did not out­line poten­tial pub­li­ca­tion dates “because it takes 18 to 24 months to actu­al­ly pub­lish or update DoD instruc­tion, which kind of speaks to our busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion chal­lenges.”

Navy Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller III, com­man­der of naval air forces, said the Navy is work­ing on inter­op­er­abil­i­ty as well. The ser­vices have been work­ing on inte­grat­ed com­mand and con­trol as a com­bined pri­or­i­ty, and “we’ll con­tin­ue to see that lev­el of coop­er­a­tion in inte­grat­ing, migrate all the way into our acqui­si­tion process­es as we move for­ward.”

Historically, for the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, it has been “give us one prob­lem and we’ll come up with three dif­fer­ent solu­tions,” he said.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James Jacobson, direc­tor of train­ing and readi­ness and deputy chief of staff for oper­a­tions, said inter­op­er­abil­i­ty is being pur­sued through the joint syn­thet­ic envi­ron­ment, which allows ser­vices to test facets of these tech­nolo­gies.

“We also have this enti­ty called the joint syn­thet­ic envi­ron­ment,” he not­ed. “I see us lever­ag­ing that to the broad­er com­mon envi­ron­ment.”

Topics: Training and Simulation

Source: NDIA

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