I/ITSEC NEWS: Live, Virtual, Constructive Called the Future of Navy Training

By Allyson Park

Naval Air Systems Command photo

ORLANDO – Employing live, virtual and constructive training is absolutely crucial to the future of the U.S. Navy, particularly for preparing sailors for a potential conflict, a service commander serving in the region said Nov. 29.

“LVC is the future," Capt. Peter Shoemaker, commodore of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic for the Navy, said during a panel at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference on Nov. 29.

LVC combines traditional live training with simulators and computer-generated platforms or forces to stand in for real weapon systems or people.

“If we had all the money in the world, we’d buy J-20s from China, and we would fly those as our adversaries. We don’t have enough money to do that,” Shoemaker said. Constructive simulations allows trainers to insert enemy aircraft into war games and exercises.

The Navy needs hands-on, detailed, accurate displays to test its tactics, training, techniques and procedures and get the necessary “reps and sets” in, so when the time comes, it can get the job done confidently and smoothly, he added.

“Modern combat in the air fight has, as we look at peer competitor capabilities, really outgrown the ranges we have available. By getting those reps and sets in the virtual environment, it gives more threat-representative platforms in the digital world,” said Capt. Michael Langbehn, deputy of Naval Air Warfare Development Command. “And being able to operate against those capabilities should, again without tipping our hand or showing what we’re doing, is really essential.”

Another benefit of utilizing LVC is minimizing cost, resource use and time. In today’s modern battlefield, forces must be trained faster and better, as well as earlier and more often.

“LVC is cost avoidance, it’s not cost savings,” Capt. Sean Anderson, commanding officer at the Navy’s Tactical Training Group Atlantic, said. “Where we’re at now, it’s about a 100 to 1 ratio for cost avoidance … And that’s where LVC really has a role.”

When it comes to strictly live exercises, replicating an accurate threat environment can be difficult, depleting resources, as well as time, Shoemaker said.

“If we do a live fight, the bandits have to get 80, 100, 120 miles away, and it takes time to get there. It takes gas, it takes flight hours on my airplane, and it gets flight time in the logbook, but you've got to reset the fight,” he said. “What’s really nice about a live structured environment, a virtual environment is you hit a button, the [bandits] are over there. You’re like, "Hey, I just made a mistake doing this thing. Let’s try it again.’ We're doing that today.”

LVC integration and establishing transparent relationships with allies and partners is vital to ensuring Navy training modernization and acceleration, Langbehn said.

“There’s not a single platform or a single unit that has the capability to fight the array of capabilities that we’re up against with modern adversaries,” he stated. “It takes the entire airway and all those capabilities working together to reduce effects and time and space. We’re really focused on that integration piece.”

The Navy is currently working on fostering communicative relationships with its coalition partners, with communication and sharing of ideas going both ways.

“Any kind of fight that we take on, it’s not the U.S. alone. It’s with our allies and partners. We have to be able to train together at the right levels, not dumbed down training, in order to get there,” Anderson said. “It’s important for our coalition partners to invest in the kinds of systems that will translate, relate and be interoperable with all of our systems to do that, and a lot of that is ongoing.”

Topics: Training and Simulation

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