Industry needs to supply Army with affordable, seamless training systems
February 27, 2012
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2012) -- Industry can help the Army of 2020 by providing affordable and seamless training systems, said panelists at the Association of the U.S. Army winter symposium.
The panel on Thursday focused on industry's role in 21st century training that is incorporating live, virtual, constructive and gaming technologies to create a realistic environment.
Col. Robert "Pat" White, deputy commander of the Combined Arms Center - Training, led the discussion about how industry should fill Army training requirements.
"The common theme that we are trying to convey to our industry partners is that filling training requirements has to be affordable," White said.
Panelists remarked that declining military budgets create the need for more efficient systems. They also noted problems with incompatible systems that don't communicate with each other. These stovepipe systems create inefficiencies and difficulties for Soldiers.
"The other underlying theme," White said, "is that filling those training requirements should apply in all of our domains whether it is institutional or operational and whether it is live, virtual, constructive or gaming."
White said the Army can't afford single, stovepipe training systems.
"Show us how we can train at multi-echelons simultaneously," he said."If we could do that, we can provide Soldiers with what they need, and we're going to continue to fight and win our nation's wars."
Another panelist was Nate Godwin, assistant deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7 at Army Forces Command. He talked about the Army's goal of becoming a seamless organization.
"By 2020, we want to be fully integrated and fully coordinated across the joint, intergovernmental and international realms," he said. "We're not there yet."
Michael Formica, assistant chief of staff of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command G-3/5/7, said industry could help prepare Soldiers by providing training that teaches group problem solving.
"It isn't about a topic," Formica said. "It's about the problem."
The panel discussion opened with White presenting an animated video that featured the avatar of Gen. Robert W. Cone, TRADOC commanding general. The video was created by the staff of the National Simulation Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in just 48 hours.
Cone's avatar presented remarks from one of the general's earlier talks about the importance of home station training. The Army is returning to home station training after years of relying on the combat training centers to prepare Soldiers for their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Realistic home station training and leader development are the keys to adapting the Army as we move forward," said Col. Michael Aid, Department of the Army Training G- 3/5/7. He said commanders will be taking on more responsibilities for training their troops.
Col. Miciotto O. Johnson, director of CAC-T TRADOC Capability Manager -- Virtual, discussed the importance of using gaming technology and other innovations to interest young Soldiers. Those Soldiers are more likely to learn lessons delivered by mobile applications than from field manuals.
"We need to exploit the best technology, and we need to form partnerships with industry," Johnson said.