Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: Synthetic training to become prevalent Army-wide

Synthetic training to become prevalent Army-wide
By David Vergun - November 16, 2017
WASHINGTON -- Operating in a synthetic environment — which for Soldiers means combat training in a computer-generated, realistic-feeling environment — will increasingly augment live training at home station and combat training centers, said Lt. Gen. Mike Lundy.

Lundy, commander, Combined Arms Center, spoke at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition last month, where examples of emerging synthetic training were on display at industry booths. Some of the emerging synthetic training ideas were started through Army science and technology funding.

Currently, there are simulators in about 30 locations throughout the Army that are mainly using 1970s technology that cannot adequately replicate today's weapons and environment, he said.

That will change fairly soon, he predicted, offering several reasons.

Operating in an increasingly complex environment, where the contested domains of land, sea, air, space and cyber converge, will require many training repetitions, some of which cannot be replicated in a live environment, he said, due to high cost or hazardous environments, particularly for aviation.

Also, conditions at home station training cannot replicate those at a Combat Training Center, or CTC, where a maneuver force may be training with full or most of its capabilities.

The only way to get that quality of high repetition training that is scalable from a platoon on up to a brigade or division, he said, is through the synthetic environment.

Besides that, different environments, weather conditions, and day and night conditions can all be replicated using simulation, he added.

Lundy said he expects to see affordable synthetic training in the future to occur at home station within the battalion and even company level. He added that synthetic training will even become prevalent at the brigade, division and corps levels.

Synthetic training isn't meant to replace live training, he emphasized. However, it will provide the practice required for Soldiers to get good at what they do before they go to the combat training centers, where all of that training will be validated.

Other changes coming

Going to synthetic training isn't the only change on the way, Lundy said.

Doctrine and tactics are beginning to catch up to threats from potential peer and near-peer adversaries.

A couple of years ago, Soldiers were training specifically for the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was predominately counterinsurgency and mission specific.

Then, within the past year or so, the CTCs added combined arms training for the maneuver force, with tactics against near-peer threats in all domains, he said.

In October, the Army released Field Manual 3.0 "Operations," which details the tactics the Army will use for the next three to five years, he said.

Those tactics spelled out in 3.0 include lessons learned over the last 16 years of war, as well as dealing with more sophisticated threats from adversaries who will want to deny Americans access to the battlefield through long-range precision fires, unmanned aerial systems and electronic warfare and cyber, he said.

And finally, Lundy said professional military education and leader development is catching up to 3.0 and training at the CTCs.

For example, the curriculum will soon include topics like understanding and managing the complex airspace, virtual recruiting and banking by enemy forces, and psychological assessments of the local population, adversaries, U.S. troops and coalition forces, each of which is involved in shaping the fight.

"Maintaining the will of the coalition is just as important as being able to achieve a victory and breaking the will of your enemy," he said.

The changes in PME, doctrine and tactics like 3.0 are not the final word, Lundy concluded. It will evolve and be re-written over time as gaps and opportunities emerge.

For more information, visit:
Army Research Lab
RDECOM
Army News Service
ARCYBER

Command Sgt. Maj. James Sims, with Army Materiel Command, tries out a scenario in Virtual Battle Space using a set of 3D goggles, during the 2015 Association of the United States Army Institute of Land Warfare symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, March 31, 2015. Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by C. Todd Lopez
Command Sgt. Maj. James Sims, with Army Materiel Command, tries out a scenario in Virtual Battle Space using a set of 3D goggles, during the 2015 Association of the United States Army Institute of Land Warfare symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, March 31, 2015. Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by C. Todd Lopez

A 1st Armored Division Soldier trains on the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer, at Fort Bliss, Texas. The exercise combined live, virtual and constructive training as part of the Integrated Training Environment. The Integrated Training Environment is evolving to a single synthetic environment that combines constructive, gaming and virtual systems and is coupled with live training. This evolution was a topic at the Training and Education 2025 and Beyond Industry Forum, held June 18-19, 2014, at Fort Eustis, Va.  Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mike Casey
A 1st Armored Division Soldier trains on the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer, at Fort Bliss, Texas. The exercise combined live, virtual and constructive training as part of the Integrated Training Environment. The Integrated Training Environment is evolving to a single synthetic environment that combines constructive, gaming and virtual systems and is coupled with live training. This evolution was a topic at the Training and Education 2025 and Beyond Industry Forum, held June 18-19, 2014, at Fort Eustis, Va. Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mike Casey
Related CHIPS Articles
Related DON CIO News
Related DON CIO Policy

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer