White paper says Army needs tough, realistic training
By Mike Casey - Combined Arms Center - TrainingMarch 9, 2016
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- The Army must make training more like combat to prepare units and leaders for the complexities of future conflicts, a recent white paper stated.Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center, approved the document, entitled "Enhancing Realistic Training."In the white paper's forward, Brown said training needs to reflect the intensity of combat that Soldiers saw in Iraq and Afghanistan."Legacy training methodologies and capabilities do not replicate the complexities or challenges they encountered during a decade of conflict," he said. "Our Soldiers and leaders realize the environment they will encounter in future combat is growing in complexity and unknowns, and they are demanding realism in training."The white paper recommends the Combined Arms Center -- Training establish an Enhanced Realistic Training Work Group to conduct an accelerated Capabilities Based Assessment to identify the critical gaps and potential solutions for current and long-term capabilities development efforts.Here is the white paper's definition of realistic training:Realistic training is the deliberate practice of individual and collective tasks to enable tactical and technical proficiency that support mission accomplishment in a training environment that approximates the operational environment (OE) in both sufficient complexity and substance.The operational environment is constantly changing, requiring the Army to prepare units to counter innovative threats. These threats can include regular and irregular forces as well as criminals and terrorists, or even a hybrid threat that includes all of those groups.Enhanced realistic training capabilities will provide a training environment that represents many of the conditions expected on future battlefields based on observed operational environment trends, the white paper stated.To prepare units, training events must:
• Add multiple challenges for Soldiers, leaders, and units to consider and overcome.
• Represent the physical and cognitive stresses of combat and its moral and ethical challenges.
• Incorporate the human, social-cultural, and political aspects of conflict, replicate joint and combined arms effects, and the capabilities and limitations of Army ground forces and Unified Action Partners.The white paper supports the Army Operating Concept (AOC) and Human Dimension Strategy. The AOC states that training must be more realistic and challenging. The 2015 Human Dimension Strategy lists realistic training as one of three lines of effort to develop cohesive teams of professionals who can thrive in ambiguous, complex and challenging situations.The white paper can be found in the above, under "related files."