FORT SILL, Okla. - The Ordnance Training Detachment – Sill (OTD-S), Patriot Radar Division (PRD) is integrating industry technology to modernize radar training and education. The modernization effort will mitigate training equipment shortfalls, reduce equipment downtime and provide a virtual training solution for distance learning.
In October 2019, the OTD-S received authorization to operate the AN/TPQ-53 Radar Virtual Software (RVS) on the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN III) to enable virtual radar maintenance training for Army Radar Repairers (94M) and Electronic Missiles Systems Maintenance Technicians (948D).
The DREN provides a virtual capability that operates independently from the installation Network Enterprise Center (NEC), which permits ease of operation and uninterrupted access to the AN/TPQ-53 RVS.
The RVS allows for extensive training and evaluation on radar theory, in-depth fault isolation, complex troubleshooting, and step-by-step AN-TPQ-53 radar system component replacement. Additionally, instructors can insert real-world maintenance scenarios and verify the student’s comprehension and proficiency level prior to conducting hands-on training on the actual equipment.
The RVS training capability was developed through collaboration between subject matter experts from the OTD-S PRD team and the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T). PEO C3T operationalized the data inputs from users, while OTD-S instructors validated the software.
Next, the OTD-S installed the necessary hardware, including servers, switches, cabling, and stand-alone computers. Finally, OTD-S and PEO C3T conducted a limited user acceptance test (UAT) using one mock classroom (8 student workstations and an instructor station) to validate the RVS for classroom use.
After successfully completing the UAT, OTD-S completed hardware installation in 8 classrooms and began incorporating the DREN enabled RVS into the AN/TPQ-53 lesson plan.
The OTD-S will implement the RVS before the third quarter of fiscal year 2021. The software is expected to save the Army over $2,500,000 a year in AN/TPQ-53 repair parts, double the classroom training capacity, enhance students’ proficiencies, and mitigate environmental constraints on the training.
The DREN enabled RVS, balanced with hands-on training on the actual equipment allows the Army to reach the optimal training outcome. Additionally, the use of the RVS and other virtual systems in Forces Command (FORSCOM) operational units will serve as great tools to refresh and enhance training.
OTD-S will continue to leverage industry in support of the Army's Modernization Plan to deliver tactically and technically proficient warrant officers and enlisted Soldiers who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to fight and win in large scale combat operations across multiple domains.
Integrating DREN and AN/TPQ-53 RVS capabilities into OTD-S curriculum is an innovative technique that will enhance the classroom experience and optimize critical resources to deliver superior training.