New environment to make Army training more cost efficient
June 8, 2010
By Diane Walker
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Army News Service, June 8, 2010) - More than 170 Army training leaders and staff members met May 24-25 to bring to reality a training concept that would cut costs, match "whole of government" expectations and reach a new generation of servicemembers.
The new training concept to make what is termed the integrated training environment or ITE will become available beginning in 2012 and continue through 2020.
Directed by the Army's Combined Arms Center-Training here, ITE will link selected training aids, tools, simulations, infrastructure and a training scenario framework to deliver training and education equal to the realities of full-spectrum operations across the field of conflict.
The ITE initial phase will focus on home-station training for the operational Army, followed by outreaching support to schools and centers, and then finally it will provide access to deployed units.
Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., commanding general of the Combined Arms Center, noted the high level of participation in the ITE Summit. He said the participation indicated "how serious you and the community are about ITE and its tremendous potential and opportunities."
He discussed how ITE will give commanders more time to train and will include training in a way that fits the preferences of coming generations of Soldiers.
"ITE is part of the Army's blended learning opportunities," Caslen said. "ITE's potential is huge for the training of the future. As I look at it, this is exactly where we need to go."
Virtual and constructive training tied together through the new integrated training environment will help Soldiers and units prepare so they'll enter live exercises at a higher skill level.
"You have to build to the higher event," Col. Paul E. Funk II, deputy commanding general for CAC-T told ITE Summit attendees.
ITE will maximize effects gained from combat multipliers and expand the training footprint while significantly reducing costs and allowing realistic "whole of government" training. It eventually will provide access to distributed, on-demand training and a persistent learning capability anywhere, anytime.
Input from the ITE summit participants will be used to identify training and technology gaps. It will also show what capabilities would be needed to close those gaps. CAC-T will develop a detailed campaign plan which the center hopes will be approved by senior leadership by Oct. 1.
(Diane Walker serves with Combined Arms Center-Training public affairs.)