Combat identification training: Recognition of Combat Vehicles program.
As these statistics verify, combat identification is still an unresolved problem on the modern battlefield, even during stability and support operations.
Combat identification has many considerations--situational awareness and target identification within specified rules of engagement (ROE) are the cornerstones. Individual and collective training are key to enabling Soldiers and leaders to identify friendly and enemy vehicles in multiple situations.
To prevent or reduce the potential for fratricide and simultaneously increase combat effectiveness, the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is implementing a five-tiered training model for combat identification. (See the figure.)
This model provides "trigger pullers" graduated and increasingly robust training to meet combat identification challenges. Regardless of all our advanced technology or the ability of the command and control architecture to provide near perfect situational awareness, once the vehicle commander or individual shooter confirms the target is hostile, the final decision to engage a target by direct fire is the shooter's--the gunner with his finger on the trigger.
Recognition of Combat Vehicles (ROC-V) Program. The training software of choice is the ROC-V and training aids, devices, simulators and simulations (TADSS) with embedded imagery from the ROC-V program. ROC-V is thermal-sight training that runs on any computer with the Windows operating system.
With ROC-V, Soldiers learn to identify the thermal signatures of combat vehicles by using an interactive curriculum that teaches the unique patterns and shapes of vehicle "hot spots" and overall vehicle shapes. ROC-V also gives Soldiers practical experience in using their individual weapon thermal-sensor image controls. Using virtual sight controls, Soldiers learn to adjust their thermal optics to find targets and reveal thermal identification cues.
ROC-V includes training and testing to support the US Army Soldier's Manual Common Task (SMCT) Skill Level I, Visual Vehicle Identification.
The training program includes paper trainer versions for reference without a computer. The instructor control module permits individual and collective training, testing and score tracking. ROC-V is the only training aid available for current joint combat identification marking system (JCIMS) devices.
ROC-V is the standard for ground combat vehicle identification training in the Army and Marine Corps. Users can download ROC-V from the website at https://rocv.army.mil.
The Army Training Support Center (ATSC) at Fort Eustis, Virginia, is distributing compact discs of ROC-V through the Joint Visual Information Activity, Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania (http://dodimagery.afis.osd.mil). These CDs provide the ROC-V training program to Soldiers who cannot access the website.
Future ROC-V Training. Representatives from the four armed services are helping to produce the next generation of ROC-V to meet joint mission area applications. The ROC-V team already has produced a look-down aspect angle version for air-to-ground mission areas, such as fixed-wing close air support (CAS), attack and reconnaissance rotary-wing platforms, and AC-130 gunships. USMC light attack helicopter squadrons currently use this version. This same product improvement has a potential value for tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV) sensor analysts.
In the future, ROC-V imagery may be embedded in combat vehicle tactical trainers and other TADSS. Efforts also include developing a web-based course that conforms with the shared courseware object reference model (SCORM) that individual services can host.
Leaders must ensure they have a plan to reduce the risk of fratricide. Along with improving situational awareness during operations, the key is tough, realistic combat vehicle identification training before operations. ROC-V meets that training need. The bottom line--ROC-V training saves lives.
MAJ(R) William M. Rierson, FA
Lead Analyst, Ground Combat Division of the Joint Fires Integration and Interoperability Team (JFIIT) Eglin AFB, FL
COL(R) David A. Ahrens, FA
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training, TRADOC, Fort Monroe, VA
Tier Level Type Training 1. Individual Combat Vehicle Identification with ROC-V 2. Individual & Team AGTS, BATS, UCOFT &, CCTT 3. Team & Unit Gunnery, Ranges & NGATS 4. Unit & Collective Force-on-Force Training Exercises with JCIM at Home Station and the CTCs 5. Collective & Joint Virtual Mission Rehearsals, Combined Arms Rehearsals & Rock Drills Legend: AGTS = Advanced Gunner Training Simulator BATS = Bradley Advanced Training System CCTT = Close Combat Tactical Trainer CTC = Combat Training Center JCIMS = Joint Combat Identification Marking System NGATS = New Generation Army Targetry System ROC-V = Recognition of Combat Vehicles UCOFT = Unit Conduct of Fire Trainers Combat Vehicle Identification Tiered Training Model