The Synthetic Training Environment (STE) comes another step closer to reality as the Army Contracting Command (ACC), (Orlando, FL), in support of the Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Team (CFT) and in accordance with Army Directive 2017-23 (Cross Functional Team Pilot) announces the award of seven Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) awards.

The prime contractor partners include both traditional and nontraditional Department of Defense (DOD) companies. They are: Applied Research Associates; Bohemia Interactive Simulations; Bugeye Technologies; Calytrix; Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumin; and Tenosar.

On November 30, 2017 the STE/CFT issued the first of multiple requests for White Papers focused on the Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainers and Global Terrain (One World Terrain (OWT)). This request produced a substantial number of responses.

The ACC and STE/CFT conducted an evaluation process that resulted in the selection of these prime contractor partners that each bring a robust team of experts to confront the task of closing identified critical training gaps adversely impacting the US Army. Employing non-traditional methodologies will inform STE requirements development by utilizing demonstrations, solution refinements, user feedback, assess and improve based cycle in accordance with Army Directive.

By leveraging industry, academia and Soldier/user feedback, this rapid iterative process is designed to explore new methods to produce more accurate requirements and faster delivery of better training solutions to Soldiers and units. "we are trying to reduce the number of layers," said Under Secretary of the Army Mr. Ryan McCarthy.

STE/CFT Director Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais emphasized that, "this is just the beginning," multiple OTA awards and future engagements with industry partners and academia will be required and are planned to solve one of the most complex technological challenges confronting the Army training community, to make the STE reality and to streamline the Army acquisition process.

"The Army is encouraged by the many responses and feedback received thus far in the program, we look forward to continued use of agile processes in the near future as we continues to build on close working relationships with our industry partners," said, Ian Skeete, Army Contracting Command, Orlando.