Welcome to I/ ITSEC 2000! This is the premier annual event for
the training systems industry, and while you are here with us, we
hope that you take full advantage of this great opportunity to hear
top-level briefings on leading-edge technologies and to experience
the marvelous developments in “state of the art” arrayed
in the exhibit hall.
Our staff is here to ensure that this is a productive event for
Now, let me mention a few other things that might be of interest.
In other articles, I have made mention of NTSA’s direct involvement
in two very important study efforts—a Defense Science Board
(DSB) Task Force on Training and Education in the Military and the
Fiscal Year 2000 Army Science Board Summer Study, looking at the
deployability of Army units in the 2015-2025 time frame.
Both of these study efforts are now concluded, and the “draft”
reports are being routed for review and briefing to senior officials.
While I can’t comment directly on the contents of the draft
DSB report, I can say that one of the most important recommendations
from the task force is that training again be recognized as equal
to the other service chief Title 10 responsibilities of “manning
Title 10, U.S. Code states that the service chiefs are responsible
to “man, equip, and train” their services, and yet the
DSB task force found that training often is the last thing to be
funded and the first thing to be cut. Further, the task force also
found that the “crown jewels” of training, the service
combat training facilities at Fallon and Nellis, in Nevada, at Fort
Irwin and 29 Palms, in California, have enormous land and airspace-use
pressures on them that might threaten their long-term utility. Vieques
is a good example. These national assets have begun to deteriorate
in terms of threat-replication capability. At a minimum, the DSB
task force recommends that the Defense Department “do no further
harm” to these national treasures.
As for the Army Science Board Summer Study and the “training
dominance” panel, of which NTSA was a part, the report and
recommendations were praised by the chief of staff of the U.S. Army,
Gen. Eric Shinseki, as being forward looking and thought provoking.
Comments in this report were similar to those contained in the
DSB report, but the approach was very different. Rather than focusing
on facilities, the training panel looked at future weapon system
complexities (information systems, network centric warfare, among
others) and tried to determine the type of personnel and training
needed to operate and maintain platforms such as the Army’s
Future Combat System.
To paraphrase the bottom line of the report, learning and knowledge
management systems need to be developed and put in place to prepare
current and future generations of U.S. military service members
for these future tasks. Advanced Distributed Learning technologies
figure very highly in all of this.
It is interesting to note that subsequent to the DSB and Army Science
Board work, the chief of naval operations, Adm. Vern Clark, has
kicked off an initiative to revolutionalize training in the Navy.
In line with all of these efforts—and in order to provide
the NTSA membership with insights into what appears to be a new
direction for training—a successful conference on “Advanced
Distributed Learning and Embedded Training” was conducted
in Orlando, on 6-7 September. The robust agenda included speakers
from the Defense Department and the private sector, such as the
heads of training from IBM and Chase Manhattan Bank. Further, lively
panel discussions regarding the “Learning Environment of the
Future” stimulated the audience, and provided useful insights
as to growth potential for these technologies and methods of delivering
learning and knowledge. Response from the 350 attendees was uniformly
positive and supported the notion of a follow-on conference in about
a year. Stand by for further information on this subject.
Again, welcome to I/ ITSEC, and enjoy the show!
Fred Lewis is the executive director of the National Training Systems
Association, in Arlington, Va.