TRAINING AND SIMULATION
Army General Calls For More Hi-Tech Training at Home Bases
Photo: Melanie Yu / NDIA
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Army must invest in more live, virtual and constructive training at home bases for soldiers, said the commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Nov. 28.
In previous years, the pinnacle of Army training was to bring in soldiers for large-scale events at combat training centers, said Gen. David Perkins. These would often involve exquisite capabilities and world-class opposing forces, he said.
“It was a great training event but it was once every two years for a brigade and it was quite expensive and … [there] was high overhead,” he said during remarks at the National Training and Simulation Association’s annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference. NTSA is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association.
While this was a training revolution for soldiers who joined the service decades ago it is quickly becoming less relevant, he noted. An increasingly popular technique is known as live, virtual and constructive training, which combines simulation, live training and computer models to create a comprehensive virtual environment.
“In the future, the training revolution that we are going to see in the Army is not necessarily more of just one sort of … golden, gilded training event but it is now taking a level of fidelity and experience of training and bringing it back to … every day home station training,” he said at the conference, which is being held in Orlando, Florida.
The Army has in the past often been caught up in the “tyranny of training,” he said. “Training became so large that … if you didn’t do it to that scale then you wouldn’t do any of it.”
An increased focus on home training that employs LVC training and a new synthetic training environment is not meant to replace large exercises but to allow soldiers to enter such events at a higher level, he noted.
By doing so, when soldiers arrive at a big training event they are “not doing basic kinds of things,” he said. “You’ve been able to do those 10,000 hours of repetition at home station.”
The Army plans to put a premium on multi-domain battle training, he said. Instead of focusing on only a handful of domains, soldiers of the future will likely have to fight simultaneously in domains such as air, sea, land, space and cyber, he noted.
“We have to bring together all the domains,” Perkins said. “We have to have a training strategy … [where] from the very beginning we are thinking about the multi-domains that are occurring.”
For instance, while cybersecurity training is important for a soldier planning to go into a career in cyber warfare, other service members need to understand the domain as well, he noted.
“[We must also] simultaneously train maneuver folks — infancy, armored, or the air domain or the maritime domain — that they need to take into account the effects of … cyber,” he said.