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Army training support enterprise: a new paradigm for training support.

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace."

--General George Washington

Since the Revolutionary War, the United States Army has prepared its Soldiers to conduct their wartime missions through extensive training. That training has often required some type of training enablers--whether people, facilities, products, or services--that allow Soldiers to meet the training standard under conditions that closely replicate those encountered during their mission. Today, we refer to those enablers as training support. More specifically, we define training support as encompassing the training information infrastructures, products, materiel, personnel, services, and facilities to enable integrated training and education. Training support develops and sustains leader, Soldier, and civilian competencies and enhances unit readiness across the institutional, operational, and self-development training domains in an integrated training environment.

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While the look and feel of training support has changed significantly because of the continuous and significant advances in technology, the intent--to ensure that Soldiers and civilians have the training enablers necessary to prepare them to accomplish their mission during both war and peace--has not. This becomes increasingly challenging as we continue to operate in complex environments that require innovative training and training support solutions to ensure the success of our Soldiers and civilians, whatever their missions. One of the first steps in ensuring relevant training support solutions is establishing a comprehensive Army Training Support Enterprise that provides relevant training support capabilities responsive to the needs of Soldiers, civilians, leaders, and mission/combatant commanders and ensures Army readiness.

What Is an Enterprise?

Army Regulation 25-1, Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology, defines an enterprise as "the highest level in an organization; it includes all missions, tasks, and activities or functions." (1) This definition can be applied to the Training Support Enterprise since it represents the entire organization of training support, including all the processes, actions, and functions necessary to develop and deliver integrated, operationally relevant training support capabilities.

While the Army currently has a Training Support System (TSS) Enterprise, it is limited in scope. It is composed of the Sustainable Range Program (SRP), Integrated Training Area Management (ITAM) Program, Soldier Training Support Program (STSP), Battle Command Training Support Program (BCTSP), and the Combat Training Center (CTC) Modernization Program. These programs are managed collectively and include many training support capabilities--including ranges; instrumentation; training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (TADSS); services; and personnel.

As broad as the current TSS Enterprise appears to be, it represents only a portion of all the training support capabilities that have grown over the past 10 to 15 years and even those on the horizon. Some of the other programs and their capabilities that should form the Enterprise include, but are not limited to--

* Army Training Information System (ATIS).

* Distributed Learning (dL) products and services.

* Standards in Training Commission (STRAC) for ammunition.

* Training development, delivery, and student management processes and tools.

* Mobile learning and interactive multimedia capabilities.

Although this is not a complete list, it does represent an expanded view of what the Enterprise must encompass to provide comprehensive training support.

Why Do We Need an Expanded Enterprise?

The advance of information technology, the demands of an era of persistent conflict, and the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model have necessitated a change in training support capabilities and how that support is executed--from providing essentially institutional and home-station training support capabilities to mobile, reconfigurable, integrated, and interoperable capabilities to Soldiers and civilians at any time or place. Most of the training support capabilities of today do not have these characteristics.

The capabilities of the existing Enterprise are often developed independently within functional "silos," resulting in training support solutions that are redundant and not interoperable, integrated, or reconfigurable. For example, capabilities for classrooms are developed independently, based on the type of facility--such as a dL Classroom XXI, Digital Training Facility (DTF), or Institutional Battle Command Arts and Sciences Program (I-BCASP) classrooms. While they all serve as classrooms and require networked infrastructures and facility support personnel, they are developed in parallel because they are funded through different programs and their purpose and audience may be different. These training support facilities typically compete for limited resources and do not provide the most efficient responses to current and future force requirements.

Without Training Support Enterprise processes that eliminate stovepipes and enable integration and synchronization of capabilities, we will continue to develop inefficient training support solutions that are not fully responsive to the needs of the customers. Applying the Training Support Enterprise solution to the training facility example should result in the development of fewer facilities at a lower cost with more varied capabilities to support several different purposes and audiences.

How Do We Get There?

The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) recognizes these shortcomings and has designated the United States Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) to lead the effort to establish a holistic, integrated approach for managing training support through the expanded Training Support Enterprise.

CAC is taking steps to ensure that an expanded Training Support Enterprise becomes a reality. The first key step is educating those involved in training support on the who, why, what, when, where, and how of the Enterprise. It is conducting meetings and briefings with many of those involved at all levels to describe the Training Support Enterprise, communicate the value added, establish responsibilities, and gain consensus. This effort will encourage leaders to take a holistic view of Training Support Enterprise objectives, processes, and resources and empower them to act cohesively to integrate related training support functions.

Additionally, CAC and others in the training support community have begun working together to define the governance processes critical to ensuring that objectives are achieved, risks are managed appropriately, and resources are used responsibly. The governance processes will provide the means to bring together training support managers and others involved in training support under a single umbrella to collaboratively identify like requirements and opportunities for leveraging capabilities across programs and lines of operation (LOOs). Specifically, the governance processes will--

* Ensure that training support capabilities are linked with approved training strategies.

* Provide a means to holistically identify gaps and eliminate redundancies.

* Establish forecasting, validation, prioritization, and integration criteria for program capabilities.

* Establish metrics that focus on outcomes.

* Synchronize varied processes and schedules with important Army drivers, including resourcing and policy decisions.

* Enable resource-informed decisions at the lowest possible level.

* Provide the analytics to enable rapid decisionmaking by leaders to adjust to mission, technology, and funding changes.

* Establish reporting requirements and processes that provide total asset visibility across the Enterprise.

* Apply knowledge management strategies and applications to enable rapid decisionmaking and identify second- and third-order effects of decisions.

What Are the Challenges?

But even with education and well-defined governance processes, establishing the Training Support Enterprise is a complex process that will not happen overnight. This broad undertaking includes a myriad of challenges that involve developing, delivering, and sustaining relevant training support capabilities. The greatest challenge, however, is change.

Establishing the Enterprise will require extensive systematic and synchronized activity to ensure the most efficient and effective use of limited resources. It will require conscious, deliberate actions by the many players who are committed to ensuring that training support is continuously acquired, managed, maintained, sustained, and disposed of in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Additionally, it will require leadership commitment, guidance, and support to ensure that those involved in the Enterprise judiciously execute their responsibilities.

What is the End Result?

With everyone working together, the end result will be a Training Support Enterprise that distributes available resources to achieve the optimal balance between effectiveness, efficiency, and strategic risk. It represents a new paradigm for training support to better enable Army readiness and respond to the needs of Soldiers, civilians, and leaders anytime, anywhere.

Endnote

(1) AR 25-1, Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology, 4 December 2008, p. 120.

Ms. Billups is a concepts and plans specialist at the Combined Arms Center-Training, Army Training Support Center, Fort Eustis, Virginia. She holds a master's in education from Old Dominion University.
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Author:Billups, Deborah O.
Publication:Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers
Date:Jan 1, 2010
Words:1331
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