By Jason B. Cutshaw (SMDC/ARSTRAT)April 23, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's Simulation Center helps build strong relationships between the Department of Defense's leading missile defense agencies.
As the Missile Defense Agency and USASMDC/ARSTRAT, among others, work together to defend the high ground, the Simulation Center's role is to help engineer, acquire, integrate, test and provide sustained support as requested by its customers.
The Simulation Center is executed by the SMDC's Future Warfare Center in support to the Missile Defense Agency Test Resources Directorate. The FWC is responsible for building future space and missile defense forces. FWC develops the Army's space and missile defense doctrine and concepts, validates requirements, and ensures Army-wide solution integration. The FWC rapidly advances innovations for space, missile defense, high altitude and cyber to the Warfighter through prototype development, experimentation and wargames, analytical assessments, and modeling and simulation development.
The Simulation Center provides supercomputing resources, experimentation, and exercise and network support for the SMDC mission of research and development of future space and missile defense applications and related technologies.
"The Simulation Center is one of the core ground test assets in support of our Warfigher exercises. We have brought the THAAD Extended Air Defense Simulation suites over to the Simulation Center and are in the process of working with the Aegis BMD Program Office to bring their EADSIM suite into the Simulation Center as well," said James McComb, chief, MDA/DTRG.
The Simulation Center is operated by the Decision Support Directorate of the Space and Missile Defense FWC as an SMDC command core competency in support of the MDA programs with U.S. Strategic Command and the Army.
"The Simulation Center can be characterized as a laboratory of laboratories with leading-edge, high-performance computing assets supporting large-scale processing requirements for space, high altitude and missile defense research and development communities and other joint projects," said Dr. Claudette C. Owens, chief, Information and Computational Engineering Division, SMDC Future Warfare Center Decision Support Directorate.
The Simulation Center is a center providing facilities, high-performance computers and resources to support systems that simulate the behavior or characteristics of Warfighter tools, capabilities and systems.
Simulation Center execution is strategically located in the Information and Computational Engineering Division, SMDC DSD, with management and oversight by the MDA test organization. The Simulation Center also supports the development of mobile modeling and simulation suites for Warfighter onsite and network-based training.
"One of the desired outcomes of the mobile suite configurations is to capture the Warfighters' and their trainers' feedback and understanding into the improvement of current and development of future tactics, techniques and procedures," Owens said. "The mobile modeling and simulation suites help to ensure we have trained and ready missile defense forces, and, they provide the local trainers capabilities to customize the training objectives and undertake unique scenarios.
"The suites also provide a low-cost mechanism to build experience with the objective systems and then obtain suggestions from the Warfighter that help shape the requirements for future missile defense capabilities," she added. "With their simulation capabilities, the suites allow interoperation in experiments with many other Department of Defense systems allowing for investigation of new cooperative solutions. These requirements are supported by our research, test and integration capabilities within the command and can be worked jointly with MDA and other services and agencies."
MDA is a principle stakeholder in the Simulation Center and provides direction in coordination with SMDC for the overall Simulation Center mission for providing high performance computing and joint project laboratories with focus toward ground, space and some sea- and air-based missile defense technologies. MDA also provides both sustaining and directed project-dedicated funding.
"The partnership between the Missile Defense Agency and SMDC has been instrumental in successful completion of recent war games activities and exercises across the globe," said Nick Holland, MDA THAAD office. "This foundation of success, and continued cooperation during ongoing operations, holds great promise for the future of this growing and dynamic mission area."
For the customers, one of the Simulation Center's best attributes is subject matter experts with strong knowledge of state-of-the-art scientific computing in the areas of integrated security, hardware, software, storage and networks.
"Simulation Center personnel provided outstanding support during recent Warfighter exercises," Holland said. "They've accommodated numerous changes as missions matured through planning and execution across four geographic combatant commands. Together we've achieved accreditation and authorities to connect, operate and test in every event as scheduled.
"The Simulation Center has established itself as a key member of team THAAD. The team's professionalism and hard work reflect great credit upon themselves," Holland added.
As the Department of Defense demands more efficiency, the Simulation Center is positioned to provide cost effective high performance computers and networking needed to conduct accurate and realistic system engineering and testing for current and future critical missile defense capabilities.