By Mike Casey, Combined Arms Center - Training April 17, 2017
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- An effort to streamline planning and conducting Army training recently received an important boost.
In March, the Army awarded Program of Record status to the TRADOC Capability Manager - Army Training Information System (TCM ATIS), which is working to consolidate multiple training information management systems. The Milestone A decision came from Steffanie B. Easter, the acting assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.
"We're pleased that the Army recognized the significance for our work to make it easier to plan, prepare, execute and assess training," said David Bolt, chief of TCM ATIS' systems development office, Fort Eustis, Virginia.
Over the years, Army organizations have developed more than 35 information systems to perform functions such as scheduling training, developing training content, tracking unit training records, and accounting for training aids, devices, simulators and simulations (TADSS). The multiple systems create problems.
"NCOs and officers waste time entering training data into separate systems," Bolt said. "Sometimes they are even re-entering the same data into multiple systems. Using one system will save Soldiers time and reduce the costs of maintaining multiple systems."
Now the Army plans to consolidate the systems into one, easy-to-use system that will increase efficiency and deliver training content to Soldiers when and where they need it.
The push to combine the systems gained momentum with TCM ATIS' designation as a Program of Record, which makes ATIS part of the Army budget. It also gives the organization additional authority to ensure the consolidated system meets Army enterprise requirements.
Bolt said the consolidated system will have five capabilities:
-- Training management.
-- Enterprise training scheduling from courses to ranges to classrooms.
-- Training development for materials such as tasks, collective tasks and lesson plans.
-- Army learning and content management to include many training and educational resources.
-- Training resource management to track training enablers such as TADSS.
Bolt said the new system will benefit operational, institutional and self-development training.
"Unit leaders will spend less time scheduling resources to support training," he said. "Educators at the schoolhouses will have better capabilities to maintain and share training and educational content. Soldiers in charge of TADSS will improve their inventory control."
TCM ATIS is providing requirements to the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which will let contracts to companies that will develop the enterprise solution.
Col. Darby McNulty, the Integrated Personnel and Pay System - Army (IPPS-A) Program Manager under PEO EIS, said he is looking forward to the project's success.
"As the new system is fielded, the Army will reduce the overall costs by retiring duplicative, stove-piped systems and improve performance with a net-centric, governed and architecturally compliant system," he said.
The consolidated system's initial capabilities are expected to come on line in fiscal year 2021, with full capabilities expected in the next fiscal year. Until then TCM ATIS and other system owners will operate the legacy systems.
TCM ATIS is a part of the Army Training Support Center and is a subordinate organization of the Combined Arms Center - Training, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.