ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 28 -- The Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Team, STE-CFT, cut the ceremonial ribbon on its new headquarters in University of Central Florida's Partnership IV building. This marks the official beginning of its partnerships with the Central Florida Modeling, Simulation, and Training (MS&T) community commonly referred to as the "Silicon Valley of Simulation."

On Feb. 18, 2018 the STE-CFT was created in accordance with Army Directive 2017-22 and Army Directive 2017-24. The Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center-Training, Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais was designated as the STE-CFT director to lead a team of experts at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. with authority to conduct market research, technical demonstrations, experimentations, and user assessments to develop requirements and rapidly deliver capabilities to the Army.

"We must put reliable equipment in the hands of warfighters faster", said Lt. Gen. James Richardson, Army Futures Command deputy commanding general. "We do that as a team."

Richardson stressed that Team Orlando is vital to assisting the STE-CFT with the tasks of getting the equipment to warfighters, putting training and simulation at the point of need and ensuring that young company commanders and platoon leaders have the training simulations that they need to prepare [their units and platoons] for combat.

Local partners and the city of Orlando will be vital to the success of the STE-CFT as it is the "US hub" of Modeling, Simulation and Training. The Central Florida Modeling and Simulations community boasts an approximate 1800-member Team Orlando military and civilian workforce from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine partners whose main focus is to provide warfighters the best simulations to increase warfighter readiness and lethality.

"The STE-CFT headquarters here is evidence of the Army's commitment to partner with academia and industry simulation leaders to rapidly develop and field the Synthetic Training Environment," said Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais, STE-CFT director.

The Partnership Complex where STE-CFT will be operating co-locates commands from within all DoD branches, along with industry leaders, academia, and local, state and federal government organizations. The entities in the complex will design, develop, and procure a wide variety of technologies and training devices that prepare warfighters to serve the nation.

Moving the STE-CFT along with the Training Innovation Facility, TIF, from Fort Leavenworth, Kan. to Orlando allows for the necessary synergy to occur between academia, industry, Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, known as PEO STRI, and STE to get to faster solutions, prototyping and Soldier feedback to deliver capabilities quicker to the warfighters which enables them to train as they would fight.