By Dolly Rairigh Glass

Team-Orlando-2015-I:ITSEC-logoI/ITSEC 2015 is featuring a Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) special event on the floor, which JTIEC Director and co-organizer Kent Gritton is calling, “The Road to a Consistent, Persistent LVC.”

NTSA announced the establishment of an LVC network on the show floor for the purpose of showcasing industry modeling and simulation capabilities, in conjunction with Department of Defense M&S capabilities, and advancing the state of LVC.

The plan notes this as the first of a multi-year annual LVC event at I/ITSEC. The idea and exercise is nothing new; there have been connected simulation events at I/ITSEC since 1992, but the difference will be what follows the exercise.

“We expend such an enormous amount of time and effort to accomplish these exercises, but we rarely take away a list of the lessons learned and what it took to get to that point,” Gritton said. “If we can couple that with a plan to mitigate the problems, then we can truly achieve a plug-and-play environment.”

All interested industry participants can find the application on the I/ITSEC exhibitor page [http://exhibits.iitsec.org/2015/CUSTOM/LVC%20Special%20Event%20RFP%20v1.pdf]. The application deadline is May 22, and participants will be expected to contribute to the overall costs of the event, which are expected to be reasonable for each industry participant, and will be determined once the level of participation is confirmed.

Although the plan is still in the early stages, the multi-day exercise will feature up to six vignettes within an overarching Humanitarian Assistance scenario. There may be some vignettes that have direct action later in the scenario, but the principal focus will be on the humanitarian mission and other missions will be ancillary.

Each year’s event will highlight specific focus areas and collect data to form a baseline on the issues, challenges and effort required to achieve a successful LVC environment corresponding to those areas. This year will focus on standards, after-action reviews and cyber. Next year will continue to focus on these three areas but additional focus areas will be added. The goal and long term plan involves cataloging the identified issues, and develop a plan to address potential solutions.

“This approach allows us to study whether we’re getting any better or just spinning our wheels,” Gritton said. “The practice we’ll get through these events, and the valuable data we can receive at the end can benefit the entire LVC community, and will help us understand what it takes to have a consistent, persistent environment. We’ll have real focus and through this exercise, we will document all the questions and issues that crop up as we go through integration.”

With each year, the event will help to start chipping away from a list of nine significant challenges: specifically, standards, AAR, cyber, performance measurements, multi-level security/cross domain solution, distributed exercise planning, exercise/network/communication management, presentation environment, and role players. With DoD as the lead integrator, working with an industry lead, NTSA is committed to putting together the network and providing the space.

Gritton said, “We don’t know what this information will result in, but at the end of the day, we’ll have identified our challenges, the characteristics of those challenges and what we need to work on in the future to remove those roadblocks. It’s highly beneficial for government and industry to understand real criteria to make this work and build toward those things.”

Somewhere between 50 and 75 industry partners are expected to participate using multiple tools, and their differences and uses make the event exceedingly complex. One of the aspects is taking a look at cyber and how cyber would affect typical operators.

“Cyber warfare is a whole new warfare frontier, because from an M&S perspective, it challenges us with many more data sets that need to be properly captured within the simulation,” Gritton said.

“Current protocols may not be the best suited to merge cyber and our warfare disciplines, so we have to determine if we need to tweak current protocol or if a whole new protocol is required,” he continued. “Information learned from these events offers good information to help us merge cyber warfare with the rest of the training in the future,” he continued.

“Everybody recognizes the value of what we’re doing so there’s been no pushback,” Gritton said. “We’ll have a much better data range of where potential issues are as we look to integrate LVC into a persistent, consistent environment.”