PREVIEW: I/ITSEC Conference to Reflect Rapid Changes in Training, Simulation

By James Robb
2021 I/ITSEC

NDIA photo

The last 18 months of COVID has challenged how the services trained, but also highlighted the strengths of distributed training and education.

The instabilities in the security environment are being driven by the return of big power competition and the availability of tremendous advances in technology at a relatively low cost.

Defense Department leadership fully understands that the procurement system is not keeping pace with adversaries’ modernization and needs to be accelerated. They understand that we must move toward command-and-control systems that support multi-domain operations.

They know the next fight will be in a cyber contested environment and will need architectures that can provide the right data at the right time, anywhere in the world, and that is has to be secure. All understand that artificial intelligence and machine learning must be part of operations, training and education.

Commanders understand that next generation training must prepare the force for a complicated fight. They know that many of their systems are highly classified, to the point that training must be done in simulated environments.

They know that they will be fighting as a team that must be synchronized and connected at all levels. They know that their decision support systems need to give them as much situation awareness as possible and that they need to use the power of AI to help them assess risks and provide options for employment.

The training that prepares the force must mirror the operational requirements and enable each element to build capability from the bottom up.

Each service is transforming the way they access and train recruits. All are working on improving and measuring human performance and bringing AI into the education and training domain.

All are working towards building synthetic training environments that are built on open architectures and secure networks. All are driving their procurement systems to reduce acquisition and technology insertion cycle times.

The 2021 The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference that kicks off this week is dedicated to support all these visions and brings the training and simulation community together to assess and debate requirement and to share ideas on how to build and train a better force.

I/ITSEC is an idea factory at the technical level and a showcase for cutting edge technologies. You will see the best in immersive systems, gaming, cyber training, skills training, robotics, medical simulation and more.

Panels and National Defense Magazine online stories this week will explain how services are addressing these challenges.

The Air Force is on a mission to link their systems in a Simulator Common Architecture Requirements and Standards environment that is open yet secure. The Marine Corps is executing a training vision that is focused on supplementing live training and improving ranges and systems that have become outdated. The Commandant of the Marine Corps actually traded his tank units for better training systems.

The Navy is transforming their accession system through a program called Sailor 2025 that uses advanced virtual reality systems and focusing on tailoring training based on an individual’s profile. Both the Navy and Air Force are transforming their flight training syllabi to include small scale virtual reality simulators that are showing great promise not only in reducing time to train, but allowing individuals to work on mitigating areas they find challenging which is leading to dramatically reduced attrition rates.

Finally, the vision of mixing of live, virtual and constructive elements into training environment is becoming a reality. Synthetic enemy aircraft are being projected into the helmets of pilots flying live missions. Limitations of current ranges are being overcome by their virtual extensions.

VR systems are overcoming issues of latency, fidelity and haptics. So, enjoy the conference and come see us at I/ITSEC or other National Training and Simulation Association events.

Retired Navy Adm. James Robb is president of NTSA, the organizer of I/ITSEC, which runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.

Topics: Training and Simulation

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