Fires Battle Lab team wins DA award
February 6, 2014
FORT SILL, Okla. (Feb. 6, 2014) -- For the third time in the past four years the Fires Battle Lab Modeling and Simulation Team at Fort Sill won a Department of the Army-level award. The team was recognized by the Army Modeling and Simulation Office for its Counter Unmanned Aerial System Experiment 2013, whose lessons provided the Army with information on CUAS doctrine and tactics, techniques and procedures development.
The team received a trophy during an award ceremony Jan. 31, at Knox Hall here.
"It's rewarding. The big-Army overall, is recognizing that we are doing the right job, that we are building architectures and experimentation in the right way," said Burt Montague, M&S Team chief. "Within the Fires Battle Lab we have other branches that put together the operations, and that type of thing for experimentation, so it is a team effort."
John Haithcock, Fires Battle Lab director, said the award was a recognition of the team's work in the Training Doctrine Command community.
"This is a great team, they're all professionals and they've been doing this for a long time," Haithcock said. "This is just a lot of fun -- to be able to work with this high-quality team in this profession."
The Fires Battle Lab creates computer simulations and experiments of future battlefields, like in the year 2025, that the Army and Fires Center of Excellence may be involved in, Haithcock said. A simulation is like a computer game.
For example, a concept weapon's capabilities are modeled in a wargame, and it's effectiveness is measured to see if the weapon technology should be pursued by industry, the director said.The M&S Team replicates future battles and around the world as selected by the Army.
The classified CUAS experiment consisted of nine combat simulation and over 16 M&S software support tools, according to the award recommendation. The effort culminated with more than 150 participants at eight locations across the United States operating on a common battlefield.
Robin Sexton, M&S Team lead modeler, said he has been here almost 30 years. His team of senior modelers have worked together for 10 years and have been doing good work the entire time.
"There was a long drought of zero recognition, so finally to be recognized consistently is professionally satisfying," Sexton said.
The 18-person team of systems engineers includes DA civilians, contractors and two Soldiers from Functional Area 57, simulation operations, Montague said.
"Our FA fifty-sevens provide subject matter expertise," he said. "They help us keep what we're doing in doctrine and what we're doing in our tactics, correct. They're our sanity check."
It is not a big team, but it is experienced, he said. "We know what we're supposed to do and how to get it done."
The other M&S Team members are Maj. Saul Gonzales, Capt. Thomas Veld, Lee Abbott, Kay Bowen, Brian Carney, Shane Davis, Peter Domitrovich, Scott Fagan, James Gardner, Bill hlin, Jeffrey Milam, Mark Miller, Michael Perdieu and Samuel Saiz.
During the award presentation, Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, said that the Army needs to strengthen its battle labs because the two battle labs that focused on situations in Iraq and Afghanistan it had been using are going away.
"You've never taken your eye off the ball, you kept pushing, going forward and the work that you have done has allowed us to regain the high ground in experimentation and concepts," McDonald said to the team. "We can't thank you enough."