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USAICoE drives learning to tactical edge.

A collaborative effort to fundamentally redesign institutional training is underway and the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE), Fort Huachuca, Arizona, is playing a critical role. The Commanding General of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is giving USAICoE his nod of approval for its implementation of the Army Learning Model (ALM). While visiting Fort Huachuca on 11 September 2012, GEN Robert Cone received briefings from several USAICoE organizations including the Learning Innovation Office (LIO).


MG Gregg Potter, Commanding General of USAICoE and Fort Huachuca, discussed the school's transformation to facilitated, peer-based learning. "It is our intent to design and develop relevant formal and informal distributed learning content that captures the imagination of the new generation of warfighters and builds upon their operational experiences," Potter said. "Delivery is also key. Content must be easily discoverable, accessible, playable and trackable."

Cone told Intelligence Center leadership he is impressed with the school's curriculum which is not only technology-rich and platform agnostic, but also instructionally-sound. "We need to capture best practices such as these, pull them into TRADOC headquarters, and propagate them to our schools and centers, ensuring commonality and sharing," he said.

Potter agreed, adding the way ahead for ALM is through standardization "To effectively and efficiently train the Army of 2020 as a superior fighting force, we must build around a base capability and then resource it across TRADOC," he said. "This will require leveraging existing resources and identifying new ones."

COL Jeffrey Jennings, Deputy Commander for Training, USAICoE, elaborated that institutionalizing the capability makes sense, especially in an era of declining resources where TRADOC schools are being asked to do more with less. "We all would be best served in establishing a central repository to harmonize intelligence requirements and three-letter agencies," Jennings said.

According to Potter, the initiative will require a degree of governance and oversight to be successful. "It will call for establishing, for lack of a better term, a configuration and control board not only for the course being developed, but for other courses and CoEs," he said.

LTG David Halverson, Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff of TRADOC, visited USAICoE on 24 September 2012 and shared his thoughts on how the initiative should be structured with regard to manpower. "From a matrix perspective, we should design this with a blending of green suits, Department of the Army civilians and in-house contract support," Halverson said. "The blending will be important."

In recent years, the Army has relied on outside contract companies to develop interactive multimedia instruction, gaming, and distributed learning. Jennings stated leveraging an in-house capability and working within a community of interest allows the government to be more efficient. "We are all better served if we work together for common solutions vice every different group contracting separately," he said. "Developing requirements that work for multiple users works well within the intelligence community."

"Contract companies will build the greatest training tool in the world," he said. "The only catch-you must use their proprietary software and pay associated licensing fees, which aren't cheap." Jennings added that maintaining and updating course material developed by outside contractors presents its own set of challenges. "It's not always feasible to return to the same contractor who developed the first iteration so a new contract must be established for a new developer," he said. "The new developer typically builds to a slightly different standard, resulting in a completely different product that does not fit well with products already built. This approach adds costs to IMI development in the out years."

LIO offers USAICoE an in-house capability to develop, maintain, and update courseware in a cost effective and efficient manner. It plays a key role in the school's implementation of ALM. "The LIO is the pulse, if you will, for transforming the center and school to a learner-centric institution through different learning strategies," Leanne Rutherford, LIO's Director, said.

LIO's core competency is instructional design, the systematic process that combines educational theory and training development to accomplish a desired learning outcome. She explained that instructional designers are organic to LIO and distinctly different from training developers. With academic backgrounds in educational theory and real-world experience in the application of instructional design methods and technology solutions, instructional designers are considered experts in learning. "Conversely, training developers are content experts with extensive military backgrounds," Rutherford said. "Although this type of experience is valuable, it alone is not sufficient to revolutionize education and training of Soldiers."


Jennings stated the training committees' propensity to accept instructional designers varies widely. "It's a big culture shift for those in the Army," Jennings said. "The transformation requires near constant engagement. Each time a new command team arrives, we must re-engage."

While Jennings supports the role of instructional designers, he also acknowledges the significance of training developers. "Instructional designers and training developers share a symbiotic relationship," Jennings said. "Architects (instructional designers) create structural and procedural planning documents derived from in-depth analysis and the foreman and builders (training developers) develop materials to support the plans."

During their respective briefings, Cone and Halverson met LIO instructional designers and developers and viewed the Collection Asset Management Simulator (CAMS), the organization's latest product release.

CAMS is an Afghanistan-based simulation that consists of two products, Operation Kanjhar Strike and Operation Kanjhar Storm. Requested by the Military Intelligence Captain's Career Course B block of instruction, Operation Kanjhar Strike is 2-dimensional IMI that teaches high intensity conflict. Development is underway on Operation Kanjhar Storm. The 3-dimensional game focuses on counterinsurgency operations for MICCC's D block.

TRADOC leadership also viewed a demonstration of the Intelligence Combat Training Center's Information Collection (IC) Guide. LIO developed the IC Guide as an interactive encyclopedia for student use during training. The product's editor feature allows course managers to update information for each of its 27 assets, resulting in a fully customizable product. Editable content includes asset information, compare features, products, filters, contact information and external links.

Rutherford said other courses and organizations have already recognized the value and potential of the IC Guide. "The functionality of this product has wide-reaching implications, not just locally at the schoolhouse, but throughout the Army," she said.

In addition, LIO briefed TRADOC leadership on the Prophet Spiral power on/off process and troubleshooting simulation. The fully interactive, flash-based, 3D, self-paced training material allows students to repeatedly practice the process. The purpose of the simulation is to reduce troubleshooting equipment maintenance costs and mitigate the lack of equipment for troubleshooting Prophet hardware faults.

Following the demonstrations, Jennings explained that products placed on the network require a certificate of networthiness (CoN), which is an onerous process. "As we move forward into ALM, acquiring a CoN is a huge challenge. The process can take 6-8 months and the certification must be updated every year." To hasten the process, USAICoE has assigned two individuals to the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command to manage the school's CoNs.

Another challenge for USAICoE is accessing training at the point-of-demand, a primary component of the lifelong learning continuum. "The University of Military Intelligence is one way we are meeting this requirement," Rutherford said. "The dilemma--TRADOC does not currently offer training on SIPR (secure internet protocol router) and JWICS (joint worldwide intelligence communications system)." In its quest for a relatively low cost learning management system, USAICoE identified Moodle, which was free. TRADOC recently granted the school an exemption to run the new LMS on all three domains.

For more information on USAICoE's implementation of ALM, contact Ms. Rutherford at (520)538-2663 or
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Title Annotation:LEARNING INNOVATIOM; United States. Army. Intelligence Center of Excellence
Author:Albrecht, Regina S.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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