By Lynne Garrow
Frank DiGiovanni, Director, Force Readiness and Training, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness), led a panel on Dec. 1 to discuss the importance of including a live/synthetic blending environment for future training of warfighters. The panel included the following distinguished experts:
• Stuart Ballard, founder of DreamHammer
• Chip Carpenter, U.S. Navy, Fleet Forces Command
• Troy Havener, LVC LNO, Air National Guard
• Patrick Kline, Colonel, Marine Forces Command
• Craig Unrath, Director, National Simulation Center, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center
DiGiovanni started the discussion by explaining the shift from Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) learning to the live/synthetic blended training. He explained that our warfighters require and expect a realistic and blended environment to meet the current challenges of the complex 21st century combat operations. Future training must blend live and synthetic environments in order to maximize the training outcomes and prepare our warfighters to win the wars of the future.
Each panel member offered his insight regarding the existing and emerging technologies to provide blended training so that warfighters have access to training daily, and as needed. A common theme was that training needs to be tailored and integrated across all services. It was noted that Team Orlando serves as an excellent resource for collaboration and discussion of the synchronization of all services. Challenges such as decreasing budgets, deployments ending, and the increase of home station training, were also cited.
While the panelists agreed on several key points, each offered opinions and insight regarding what they felt was most important:
• Kline discussed the need for doing ordinary things extraordinarily well; he defined the challenges for working individually, collectively, and organizationally.
• Havener then stressed the importance of ensuring the readiness of the warfighters; he explained the need for operational agility, which includes multiple courses of action to get the desired effect.
• Unrath discussed the need to get away from legacy systems to simulate capabilities and move to an “era of integration,” while Ballard led the group through a demonstration of how DreamHammer, a San Diego-based company that provides a drone operating system (OOS) for enterprise customers, offers a “plug and play” drone (OS) to manage ground control and fleet management for civilian and military systems.
• Carpenter reviewed the challenges of existing back-end training, and emphasized the need for a seamless environment, whether it is live or synthetic.
Q & A followed the panel discussion. DiGiovanni closed the discussion by suggesting the creation of a blog and social media community to create a continued connectedness, and continued outreach via Team Orlando.