WASHINGTON -- Training multi-domain ready Soldiers may be a tall order, but Army Training and Doctrine Command is up to the challenge, its commander said as he highlighted multiple ways forward at a virtual conference Tuesday.
Those paths include rolling out a new training management system, updating training facilities and Field Manual 7-0, and increasing live, virtual training, said Gen. Paul Funk II during the AFCEA TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series.
TRADOC is “committed to developing leaders who can lead our formations, fight and win on the battlefields of today and tomorrow,” Funk said.
To do this, “we must bring the training to the Soldier, not the Soldier to the training,” he said, adding the command plans to enable warfighters and echelons to survive on modern battlefields.
The Army aims to deliver an Army Training Information System, or ATIS, by the end of fiscal year 2023. ATIS is a one-stop shop for doctrine that “will enable the sharing of lessons learned from the institutional Army to the operational force,” he said.
"The system will bring together over 28 separate and distinct stovepiped legacy systems into one integrated training management tool," the general added.
Ultimately, the end goal is to provide Soldiers with the information they need, when they need it most. For example, “winning” could be as simple as providing timely information, like turning left instead of right to avoid an improvised explosive device in a deployed environment, he said.
Simplicity was a common thread between other topics. For example, this spring the Army plans to release a new version of FM 7-0, which was last revised in 2016, to address near-peer competitors, like Russia and China, with a focus on simplicity, Funk said.
“FM 7-0 will emphasize prioritizing training and the use of training management cycles,” he said.
The revised manual intends to include details on the Army Training Network and Digital Training Management System, a refined combined arms training strategy, and the Small Unit Leader Tool and Digital Job Book, he explained.
“In a more complex world, the one principle of war we need is simplicity,” Funk said.
The latest FM 7-0 will “simplify our training doctrine by reintroducing the training management cycle. It also takes on the critical role of the senior leaders and our noncommissioned officers in our training at echelon,” he added.
Another initiative Funk outlined was a strategy to revamp training to better equip a multi-domain capable force with world-class, 21st century training facilities, he said.
TRADOC is managing and updating over 900,000 training aids, 4,100 ranges and nearly 6.5 million acres of training area. “These new updates will enable leaders at all levels to train their Soldiers on their weapon systems at home station and [at] our combat training centers,” he said.
In addition, the updates will enable the Army to better analyze data, measure effectiveness and ensure it is a multi-domain ready force by 2028, he said.
Finally, the last initiative is to blend live, virtual and constructed learning environments together with the new Synthetic Training Environment, or STE, being developed by Army Futures Command, he said.
This type of training relies on simulations capable of preparing all Soldiers on a digital map called One World Terrain, which will replace nearly 60 individual terrain databases currently in use, he said.
The biggest challenge in doing this, he said, is having the right terrain.
On one hand, “we’re trying to replicate downtown Baghdad to the window, to the doorknob” for troops to receive the most accurate, real-world urban environment training, Funk said. On the other, “we’re trying to maneuver multi-corps operations and not get bogged down” by excessive details used in digital mapping of environments like One World Terrain.
To pull off a massive software filled with 3D maps, One World Terrain requires a copious amount of raw data, Funk said. The software is one of many reasons data has become a top Army priority.
“Data is not just an IT asset, nor the responsibility of our signal or cyber warriors,” Funk said. “Each of us has the responsibility to treat data as a weapons system that we manage, secure, and use to our advantage on the battlefield.”
Data for One World Terrain is pulled from all over. Some terrain modeling has been designed by young Soldiers in their free time, and other data has been pulled from publicly available sources.
“The great news is we’ve got Soldiers out there who are incredibly skilled at this, [and] who do this in their spare time, and they share these models with us,” Funk said. “The modeling and sim world is fascinating. These kids love to do this stuff. What’s neat for us is we get to share the fruits of their labor, and really replicate world-class training environments.”