I/ITSEC NEWS: 2024 Called ‘Major Year’ for Army Training Simulators

By Stew Magnuson
Brig. Gen. William Glaser

Defense Dept. photo

ORLANDO — The Army is looking to deliver in February some of the building blocks for its signature training and simulation system with the goal of declaring initial operating capability by the end of the year, a service leader said Nov. 28.

“Don’t let there be any doubt about it, ‘24 is going to be a really major year for us,” said Brig. Gen. William Glaser, director of the Army Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team, said during a panel discussion at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, sponsored by the National Training and Simulation Association.

The Synthetic Training Environment , or STE, is envisioned as a collection of software programs that can do everything from individual to collective training on a variety of platforms and is considered by Army leadership as one of the service’s top modernization priorities.

Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation will deliver a series of building blocks for the Simulated Training Environment Increment 1 in February to support small, tactical-level units for an operational demonstration to Fort Cavazos, Texas, formerly Fort Hood, Glaser said.

Glaser named Training Simulation Software, the Training Management Tool and One World Terrain, which allows trainers to call up the topography of any place in the world for simulators and the Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer — simulators for vehicle and helicopter including the Abrams, Bradley and Striker fighting vehicles, and the Black Hawk and Chinook aircraft — as some of the deliverables.

“That’s going to be a significant muscle move,” Glaser said.

Increment 1 is just a start, other Army leaders said during the panel. The demand for live, constructive and virtual training is only growing. The latest Army doctrine calls for multi-domain operations, with joint operations including the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Space Force along with partners and allies. Everyone wants to get in on training with U.S. forces.

Brig. Gen. Charles Lombardo, director of training in the Army’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, said a typical large-scale, joint multinational training exercise in the past would include about 15,000 to 20,000 personnel. Now, 75,000 is more typical, he said. And while nothing can replace live training, simulators will be part of the solution.

Increment 1 will cover land and air operations, but new doctrine calls for the Army to operate in cyber, space and the maritime domains, the latter being particularly of interest especially in the Indo-Pacific where new Army long-range weapons can be called to attack ships.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Smith, chief of staff for U.S. Army Pacific, said current training systems don’t have much in terms of electronic warfare and cyber operations and nothing for the maritime domain.

While Increment 1 will concentrate on small units and close combat, the plan is to expand the training to higher echelons, Glaser said.

Glaser said the Simulated Training Environment will be evolving. As new weapon systems come online, they will be integrated into the system. That will require the STE to be based more on software than hardware.

The Army is on a big push to modernize its equipment with new helicopters under the Future Vertical Lift Program, Next-Generation Combat Vehicles, new long-range fires in various stages of development and most recently, the Next-Generation Squad Weapon.

“There really isn’t a finish line,” Glaser said. “When the Army starts building new equipment, it will start modernizing the training needed for that,” he said.

“Once you get across the finish line, the Army will want more,” he said. The battlefield is always transforming, and that includes “the enemy getting a vote,” he added.


Topics: Training and Simulation

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