Computer simulations bolster joint-service combat training.A federation of computer simulations is at the core of the Defense Department's billion-dollar program to boost joint-service training. The ability to connect simulations from each service recently was put to the test by Joint Forces Command, with promising results so far, officials said.
Connecting combat simulations in real time, so commanders and war planners from all services can train together, has proved to be a tough technical issue for the Defense Department. Last year, the Pentagon cancelled the multibillion-dollar Joint Simulation Systems program, as a result of cost overruns Noun 1. cost overrun - excess of cost over budget; "the cost overrun necessitated an additional allocation of funds in the budget"
cost - the total spent for goods or services including money and time and labor and poor performance.
Joint Forces Command officials said they now believe they could achieve a JSIMS-like capability in the foreseeable future.
JFCOM JFCOM Joint Forces Command (formerly ACOM change effective 1 Oct 99) has a huge stake in this technology, because the command is responsible for the Joint National Training Capability, a billion-dollar program designed to help the services interact in live and simulation-based exercises.
The first JNTC JNTC Joint National Training Capability
JNTC Joint National Training Center
JNTC Joint Network Transport Capability exercise took place on the Western Ranges in January, and focused on joint close air support. JFCOM integrated several service models to create a live, virtual and constructive exercise environment. To alleviate the clashes between the different models, the command developed the joint federation object model, said Navy Cmdr. Jeff Wolstenholme, the exercise technical director.
"That is the glue that makes all the models interface with one another," he said during a media brief at JFCOM headquarters. "There's always integration issues between the models themselves."
"The federation that we are building for the JNTC is providing the capability that JSIMS JSIMS Joint Simulation System
JSIMS Joint Simulations
JSIMS Joint Simulation and Integrated Modeling System
JSIMS Joint Simulation System Enterprise would have given us, but still it is individual models that have been brought together," Wolstenholme told National Defense. "The services are kind of lining up behind that, looking to make investments to get their piece of their technology into this JNTC live, virtual and constructive [federation] that we are building."
When JSIMS was cancelled in September 2003, the first version of the software called block I was undergoing verification and validation Verification and Validation (V&V) is the process of checking that a product, service, or system meets specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose. These are critical components of a quality management system such as ISO 9000. testing at the Joint Warfighting Center--the primary user of JSIMS.
An analysis of alternatives is underway, to determine what exactly will replace JSIMS. Some critics have said that the analysis will recommend that JSIMS cease to be a joint program and be parsed into separate systems for each service. Others, like Army Brig Brig, town, Switzerland
Brig (brēk), Fr. Brigue, town, Valais canton, S Switzerland, on the Rhône River, at the north entrance of the Simplon Tunnel. . Gen. Stephen Seay, the program executive officer for simulation training research and instrumentation, argue that there is no other technology that can meet the requirements set for JSIMS.
Whatever the outcome, JFCOM supports the need to produce a JSIMS capability as soon as possible, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a command spokesman.
During the JNTC exercise in the Western Range Complex, the technical control unit oversaw o·ver·saw
Past tense of oversee. 14 sites in 10 states and had control over the integration of four instrumentation systems, 10 virtual simulations, seven constructive simulations and five federation management tools, said Wolstenholme.
In virtual simulation, actual people use simulated equipment, while in constructive simulation, both people and equipment are simulated.
For example, pilots at Fort Rucker Fort Rucker is a U.S. Army post located mostly in Dale County, Alabama. It was named for Confederate General Edmund Rucker. The post is the primary flight training base for Army Aviation and is home to the United States Army Aviation Warfighting Center (USAAWC) and the United , Ala., were flying in virtual Apache AH-64A AH-64A Apache Attack Helicopter, A Version simulators, equipped with imagery from the National Training Center, in California.
The live forces were mainly at the NTC NTC Notice
NTC National Training Center
NTC National Telecommunications Commission
NTC National Transport Commission (Australia)
NTC Negative Temperature Coefficient
NTC Naval Training Center (Army) and 29 Palms (Marine Corps) with Air Force support from Nellis Air Force Base Nellis Air Force Base (IATA: LSV, ICAO: KLSV) is a United States Air Force base, in Clark County, Nevada, on the northeast side of Las Vegas. It is also treated as a census-designated place by the United States Census for statistical purposes, and so specific , Nev., and the Navy in San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. . Special operations forces Those Active and Reserve Component forces of the Military Services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called SOF. also participated.
To bring together the live, virtual and constructive picture, JFCOM has constructed a test and training enabling architecture (TENA TENA Test and Training Enabling Architecture
TENA Tennessee Emergency Number Association (see also NENA) ). "We have this located at each of the sites, so the instrumentation system feeds into this architecture.... Using the communication architecture, we are able to bring it into the JFCOM facility," Wolstenholme said. "We send communication pods to all the major sites as part of the exercise, and a majority of the commercial communication lines are 20 megabit lines to pass all this data."
Existing T1 lines also were integrated into the architecture, but for the most part, JFCOM had to build a communications architecture solely for the exercise.
Nevertheless, as part of the JNTC, the command is going to build a permanent architecture for training and testing. The architecture will be in place for the next JNTC exercise, scheduled for June, said Wolstenholme.
Initially, this communications architecture is going to be focused on the East Coast, and then spread across the country at "all of our key training sites," he said. In the fiscal year 2005-2006 timeframe, this communications architecture is going to go global, to tie training sites overseas.
"Having a persistent 24/7 ability within all the sites, it will give us a lot more flexibility in our training," he added. For remote sites where training does not occur very often, JFCOM will provide communication pods.
The goal is to build the communications architecture by 2009, said Wolstenholme. It will be based on four hubs in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , and all the other sites will tie into one of the four hubs. There will be redundancy between the four hubs, to be able to reroute the data in case one goes down.
"The key piece is that it gives us the 24/7 connectivity that we do not have right now in the training world," Wolstenholme said.
During the first JNTC exercise, technicians kept crack of ally errors in the simulation programs.
"We can take those issues send them out to the developers for the different models, and have them work the models to get them corrected for future exercise," Wolstenholme said.
"We have seen our fair share of issues in different areas. This is brand new, cutting-edge stuff that we are doing, and you find a lot of integration issues that we need to overcome," he admitted.
One of the technical hurdles that had to be overcome was the virtual radio system called ASTi. It was used for the first time in a joint exercise, so it was not quite clear how it would be integrated, he said.
Key to any joint exercises is access to a "common operational picture." This allows field commanders and headquarters staff to see in real time what is going on during combat operations.
Unlike previous training exercises, the friendly forces have blue- force tracking capability, which gives them situational awareness Situation awareness or situational awareness  (SA) is the mental representation and understanding of objects, events, people, system states, interactions, environmental conditions, and other situation-specific factors affecting human performance in on the battlefield. Army troops at the NTC did not have BFT (Binary File Transfer) An extension to the fax protocol that allows transmission of raw data. A page of text is transmitted faster than a bitmap of the page and is displayed at normal printer resolution at the receiving side. equipment for the exercise, because they had to leave it in Iraq for real-world operations, Wolstenholme said. However, they "are fully instrumented in the battlefield, so that gives you the same capability of BFT, as if they were doing real combat operations," he added. Each soldier wears a Global Positioning System Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use. (GPS) transmitter. The instrumentation sensors already installed on the ranges are able to "tap" where these soldiers are on the battlefield every time they move on the range, said Wolstenholme.
Soldiers cannot tell what is live, virtual or constructive. "We want them to think that all these forces are real, and they are all there for them to command, or all there for them to go against. It does not matter that they are not really there. They think they are there, when they look at their communications systems In telecommunication, a communications system is a collection of individual communications networks, transmission systems, relay stations, tributary stations, and data terminal equipment (DTE) usually capable of interconnection and interoperation to form an integrated whole. ," he explained.
With the joint semi-automated force model, JFCOM color-coded all the force in the operational picture. Dark blue represents live actual forces; dark red the live opposing force
With a real-world command-and-control system and bringing live, virtual and constructive tools together, "we can do a complete review of how our joint TTPs [tactics, techniques and procedures] are all working out between the services and figure out where the problems lie," he said.
When gaps are identified, for the most part, they are detailed in after-action reports, which senior leaders can use to determine if doctrine changes are needed. Safety problems that arise during exercises are probably the only ones that are addressed immediately, he added.
The first JNTC exercise boasted a few technical firsts, according to Wolstenholme. The Marine Corps, which traditionally sticks with live fire exercises, was able to get updated range instrumentation.
"Now, we bring in instrumentation, and we bring in the constructive piece. We bring additional red forces and blue forces, and we build terrain in there, so that they can do amphibious landing Noun 1. amphibious landing - a military action of coordinated land, sea, and air forces organized for an invasion; "MacArthur staged a massive amphibious landing behind enemy lines"
landing - the act of coming to land after a voyage into the 29 Palms area constructively, to give them that much more robustness into their training."
The Marines also employed their first virtual trainer, called the Deployable Virtual Training Environment that allows the service to fly virtual helicopters and also use virtual ground vehicles as part of their exercise. (related story p. 30)
The Navy played a smaller role in the exercise. Aviators Well-known aviators
People largely known for their contributions to the history of aviation
While all of these people were pilots (and some still are), many are also noted for contributions in areas such as aircraft design and manufacturing, navigation or flew live F/A-18 sorties out or Nellis and launched a Tomahawk tomahawk [from an Algonquian dialect of Virginia], hatchet generally used by Native North Americans as a hand weapon and as a missile. The earliest tomahawks were made of stone, with one edge or two edges sharpened (sometimes the stone was globe shaped). missile land attack.
"They go through their full Tomahawk land attack procedures, as if they were watching Tomahawk all the way up until the missile is actually shouting," Wolstenholme explained. "Then, at that point, we do everything constructively, so we use the Joint Semi Automated Force Model, and we have everything go through there for the launching of the Tomahawk."
The Air Force traditionally has supported the Army in tactical level exercises at the NTC, but it has not supported the Marine Corps at 29 Palms. In this exercise, the Air Force flew on both ranges, providing close air support for the Army and the Marine Corps. "They are also having the opportunity to fly with the Marine Corps pilots and Navy pilots, who also are participating. So, all three services are flying together for close air support, working with those ground controllers to fly in and drop ordnance or simulated ordnance," he said.
JFCOM also provided a live opposing air force, equipped with A-4s. "That gives a live air-opposing force against the guys in the box and is something that they did not have in the past," said Wolstenholme.
The live virtual and constructive federation work at JFCOM went into high gear in preparation for the Millennium Challenge 2002--a large scale combat experiment. "All the technical things we did in Millennium Challenge, we enhanced them in this federation," he said.
"We added some capability in there for the interface of all the models in the federation and there were some improvements made with some of the flight capability, of aircraft and movement of ships," he explained. JFCOM also worked closely with the Navy, because the Navy runs a different version of software, "and we are going to have a common software version for all JNTC exercises," he added.
For the next exercise scheduled in June, JFCOM is adding three to five more systems to get more capability. One of the systems is an Army intelligence modal Mode-oriented. A modal operation switches from one mode to another. Contrast with non-modal.
1. modal - (Of an interface) Having modes. Modeless interfaces are generally considered to be superior because the user does not have to remember which mode he is in.
2. that "allows us to do higher fidelity' intelligence analysis," said Wolstenholme. Other systems will allow the force to do theater ballistic missile defense Missile defence is an air defence system, weapon program, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defence against nuclear-armed ICBMs, its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged exercises "and we are bringing in models and systems," he said.