Virtual Training Benefits Teams to Battalions

Thursday May 20, 2010

What is it?

Unit leaders and trainers struggling with limited time, money and other resources should consider using the Army's virtual training simulators to help train small units on collective tasks. As examples, the Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT) focuses on battalion and below formations equipped with tracked vehicles to support mounted maneuver operations.

CCTT subsystems such as the Reconfigurable Vehicle Simulator (RVS) and Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer (RVTT) with realistic vehicle cabs, communications equipment and weapons enable collective training in wheeled vehicles. Dismounted teams, squads and platoons benefit from the EST 2000, which is equipped with realistic weapons and scoring capability and supports training for marksmanship, escalation of force, reflexive fire and static defense. Additionally, the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT) offers Army aviators the opportunity to fly multi-ship missions in a virtual collective environment.

What has the Army done?

These simulators enhance training capability, make best use of resources, and close training gaps identified during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. RVSs are located within CCTT facilities at Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Stewart, Ga., Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Carson, Co., Fort Bliss, N.M., and Fort Riley, Kansas. Additionally, more than 30 RVTTs are scheduled for production and fielding. RVTTs are currently fielded to Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Drum, N.Y., Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Fort Polk, La., Fort Wainwright, Ark. and Fort Richardson, Ark., U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Germany and Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The Army has fielded more than 700 EST 2000s at active Army, National Guard and Army Reserve locations. AVCATT is available at most Combat Aviation Brigade home-stations. Contact your local Garrison Training Support Center regarding availability and scheduling.

What does the Army have planned?

To get more "bang for the buck," the Army is educating the user community about virtual simulator availability and capabilities. Plans include adding virtual Situational Training Exercises (STX) and Sergeant's Time Training (STT) in unit training plans in the Army's Combined Arms Training Strategies (CATS). The Army is also developing a CCTT Dismounted Soldier (DS) subsystem that will offer even more immersive training opportunities to SOF, dismounts, and light infantry within the virtual environment. The scheduled fielding of Synthetic Environment (SE) Core in the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2010 will enhance training capabilities by integrating common terrain databases among CCTT, AVCATT, and DS.

Why is this important to the Army?

Virtual training will never replace live training opportunities. However, unit leaders and trainers will continue to face limited time, money, equipment, support personnel and land resources for live training events. Virtual training offers realistic training opportunities, reduces the unit's training support burden and helps improve unit readiness.

Resources:

Login required: Army Training Network (from the Products page, click Training Enablers and then Virtual Training)

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- Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, commending the important contributions made by reserve and National Guard Soldiers, at an inquiry investigating complaints from Oregon National Guard Soldiers that different standards of treatment exist between reserve-component and active-component Soldiers during the demobilization process at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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"Today I saw a community doing things for themselves, accepting U.S. support, and doing great things with it. I saw a soccer stadium -- grass, sprinkler systems -- funds that were put to good use. And a water treatment plant that was new and working…If people want to know what we're doing over here, they should look at this community. I would hope that other communities around Iraq would look at what they're doing to make themselves better."

-Sgt. 1st Class Jason Reininger, a platoon sergeant, deployed four times to Iraq, speaking about how the U.S. forces helped to bring freedom and peace in Barwana, Iraq

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