By Mike Casey, Combined Arms Center - Training December 5, 2012
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- The Army Training Network (ATN) recently added a web page to bring Soldiers the most current information about Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations (TADSS).
ATN is the one-stop shop for Army training tools and resources. Its TADSS resources page offers information about the location, purpose and best practices for using TADSS. The effort is the work of the Army Training Support Center (ATSC) and the Training Management Directorate (TMD). Both are subordinate organizations of the Combined Arms Center -- Training (CAC-T).
"The new TADSS page on ATN provides leaders and trainers an easy way to know what TADSS are available, what they can do and how to get them," said William Brosnan, Training Analyst on the ATN Team.
"In addition, the page's content makes the leader and training manager's job much easier, and in the end, makes unit training more challenging and realistic," he said. "The page also follows a principle of training from ADRP 7-0 -- Train As You Will Fight."
When live training, equipment or live ammunition are not available, TADSS provide training opportunities. Even during live training, TADSS are an important component to make training realistic and challenging, Brosnan said.
Training aids are items that assist in the conduct of training and the process of learning. These can be:
• Graphic training aids such as models.
• Displays of Opposing Forces (OPFOR) small arms.
• Books with documentation on training aids.
• Pictures to support briefings and presentations.
• Media products such as training films.
Training devices are three-dimensional objects that improve training. Generally, devices substitute for actual equipment as the following examples show:
• OPFOR weapons and clothing.
• Antipersonnel practice mines.
• Accoutrements kit (threat).
• Training grenades.
Most training devices are maintained at the servicing Training Support Center (TSC). DA Pamphlet 350-9 identifies training devices that support specific Soldier and collective tasks.
Simulators are a special category of training devices that replicate all or most of a system's functions. Examples include:
• Conduct-of-fire trainer (COFT) such as for the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1 Abrams.
• Flight simulators.
• Simulations networking (SIMNET).
Simulators are normally issued to units or to the installation for use by units.
Simulations provide leaders effective training alternatives when maneuver and gunnery training opportunities are limited, Brosnan said.
When used properly, simulations can create the environment and stress of battle needed for effective command and battle staff training. Proper use of simulations ensures that quality training can compensate for the following constraints to field training:
• Limited opportunities for field maneuver.
• Lack of a trained OPFOR.
• Inability to replicate a full logistics battle.
Simulations do not replace traditional field training, but can provide an alternative, realistic training environment. Simulations can help do the following:
• Validate internal staff training and SOPs.
• Expose battle staffs to a lethal, complex, modern battlefield.
• Build battle staff and leader flexibility and responsiveness.
The new ATN TADSS page offers information about the TADSS to support training the unit's key collective tasks (KCT) and how to obtain TADSS. In planning training, it is important to decide early on what TADSS may be needed and how to obtain them to ensure they are available when training begins, Brosnan said.
For more on TADSS, see the TADSS page on at https://atn.army.mil
CAC-T manages Army training support and training development, and provides training and leader development programs and products to support Army readiness. Its web page is: http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/CAC-T/ Its Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/usacactraining