The Sustainment Portal-Virtual Technology
To sustain the Objective Force in a high-tech,
jointly integrated environment, the Army must do more than merely
modernize equipment and information systems. The Army must rethink
the fundamentals of how it prepares, deploys, and supports military
operations. It needs to transform not only the products but also
the actual processes it uses to develop, update, and deliver doctrine,
training, and materiel to the field. The Army must establish processes
and procedures that are as effective, adaptive, and responsive
as the warfighting units they are designed to support.
Twenty-first century technology cannot be
employed successfully using 20th century practices. The pace of
transformation is too fast; the traditional "stovepipe" processes
are too slow; the complexities of a multicomponent, joint force
structure are too demanding; and the cost in terms of dollars and
readiness is too high.
The Army Combined Arms Support Command's Sustainment
Portal initiative addresses this challenge by using technology
to integrate, improve, and transform the processes of combat, materiel,
training, and simulation development. Using a virtual platform
powered by a suite of local and remotely linked digital systems,
the Sustainment Portal provides a collaborative environment for
planning and assessing doctrinal concepts, conducting mission analyses,
performing digital rehearsals, developing simulation-based training,
and supporting schoolhouses and Army or joint units during exercises,
deployments, and actual operations. In other words, it provides
an integrated approach to supporting an integrated force.
The cornerstone of maneuver sustainment is
effective knowledge management. Information must be accurate, timely,
and responsive to the needs of the warfighter. The Army requires
knowledge that can be acted on, reused, and shared across the doctrine,
organizations, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel,
and facilities domains. Knowledge also must be updated frequently
and reformatted as necessary to meet the requirements of the information
systems, publications, and products delivered to the field.
The Sustainment Portal is answering this challenge.
By using tools such as the Joint Computer-aided Acquisition and
Logistics Support (JCALS) system to develop, format, and share
Stryker vehicle technical data, the Sustainment Portal establishes
a real-time, global interface among the vehicle manufacturer, training
developers, and Stryker brigade combat teams.
The Sustainment Portal improves combat readiness
by providing operators and maintainers with rapid access to authoritative
source data, the means to identify and report discrepancies quickly
in electronic technical and training publications, and a logistics
knowledge "reach-back" capability linked directly to vehicle engineers,
materiel developers, and training proponents. The result is a fast
and efficient way to update, train, and sustain commanders, soldiers,
and their Stryker fleets that is a model for the development of
the Future Combat Systems and other emerging platforms.
Training transformation means moving toward
an environment in which soldiers, units, and trainers can access
effective training whenever and wherever needed. Getting there
will require transforming both the training products and the processes
by which those products are developed, updated, and delivered.
As part of the Army's digital training strategy,
the Sustainment Portal is testing digital training support packages
that link training publications, online interactive multimedia
instruction, scenario-based simulations, and learning management
systems using Army Knowledge Online and supporting information
architectures. The goal is to achieve an efficient and cost-effective
way to establish, integrate, and maintain "living" training products
and globally distribute simulation-driven packages that can be
adapted, modified, and reused by individual soldiers, unit commanders,
and school commandants to satisfy their unique training needs.
Modeling and Simulation
In an effort to expedite delivery of digital
training while reducing costs, the Sustainment Portal is being
used to assess the Army's capability to develop "digital training
simulators." These simulators allow standard computers to emulate
actual battlefield operating systems. This initiative will significantly
reduce the cost of implementing institutional digital training
and allow soldiers to access digital training wherever they are
without actually having specific hardware and software systems.
The Sustainment Portal also is being used
to experiment with various modeling and simulation programs in
an attempt to achieve a virtual digital rehearsal capability. Such
a capability would allow collaboration among commanders, staffs,
and school commandants to model, plan, and assess military operations
virtual "sandbox" that could support exercises, training, and warfighters
deployed on actual missions.
For more information on the Sustainment Portal,
contact the Army Combined Arms Support Command Training Directorate
at (804) 7651653 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also available at: http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/July_Aug_InsCov.htm