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LandWarNet-University Redefines Way Soldiers Train.

The christening of the Army's newest training environment--LandWarNet-University--signals change in the way Soldiers are trained.

LWN-U, a computer-based virtual learning environment, will keep Soldiers relevant in their constantly changing career field. The change is especially important within the Signal Corps.

"The technology changes very fast in the Signal field," said COL Lori Sussman, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade commander. "It used to be we could train Soldiers to turn the right knobs, but we can't do that anymore because we are using more commercial off-the-shelf equipment."

The LWN-U concept is similar to a virtual university where Soldiers will be able to learn online and stay abreast of new technology.

"As those pieces and parts change and adapt with technology, the Soldier can adapt without coming back to school for more training, which is costly to the Army and hard on families," she said.

As commander of the 15th Regimental Sig Bde, Sussman is responsible for the initial entry Soldiers' Advanced Individual Training campus of LWN-U for the Signal Center. Here at Fort Gordon, the Soldiers embark on their career in the Signal field.

"They learn to be expeditionary warriors with the skills to live the Soldier's creed, perform their specialty at the apprentice level, and survive on the modern battlefield; all of which allows them to contribute successfully to their first unit of assignment," she said.

As Soldiers progress in their fields, they will be able to learn through LWN-U at the time, place and pace their career progression demands.

"We can no longer just train people, the pace of technology is moving too fast," she said. "LWN-U will give Soldiers the opportunity to stay relevant as they move up in ranks without coming back to Fort Gordon for training."

Another aspect of LWN-U is the Soldiers' ability to learn about other career fields. "The Chief of Staff of the Army expects us all to be pentathletes," she said, and to understand the technology of other career fields. "LWN-U is going to be an enabler of that."

LandWarNet is the Army's portion of the Global Information Grid, a collection of systems that provide information technology around the globe. The GIG also connects the Army to the networks of other services and the civilian sector which provides commanders on the ground improved joint warfighting abilities.

"The LandWarNet is bigger than just Signal--it encompasses all Army (information technology) including the fires, maneuver, intelligence, logistics, and other important applications that run on the networks installed by the Signal Regiment.

"To that end, the Signal Regiment's portion of LandWarNet-University will be to educate Soldiers in IT and networking, providing instruction in everything from CISCO (Computer Information Systems Company) routers, to running a SINCGARS (single-channel ground-to-air radio system) to installing a Joint Network Node," she said. "It will eventually include future technologies like the next generation of commercial IT products, the Joint Tactical Radio, and the Warfighters Information Network- Tactical, better known as WIN-T."

All education about putting in a network will be taught by LWN-U under the Signal Regiment banner. LWN-U will also have IT systems belonging to other regiments so that any Soldier can increase their knowledge in any aspect of IT in order to best support their current mission, she said, without having to leave their duty station for the education.

"LandWarNet-University will provide commanders with better educated and more current Soldiers without taking them out of the fight to go to school," she said.

Mr. Brady was the editor of The Signal with the Fort Gordon Public Affairs at the time this article was written.
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Title Annotation:Circuit check: News and trends of interest to the Signal Regiment
Author:Brady, Steve
Publication:Army Communicator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2006
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