Starting today, military training leaders and experts will be gathering at the Spire Events Center in Washington, D.C. to attend the 2018 Military Virtual Training and Simulation Summit, hosted by the Defense Strategies Institute. The event will “provide a forum for members of the DoD, DHS, Private Industry, Academia and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the current and future direction and utilization of virtual training & simulation technologies throughout the Military Services,” according to the event’s website.
To learn more about the current state of simulation training technology and the military’s use of such innovations, Modern Military Training spoke with Event Moderator CAPT (Ret.) Bill “Roto” Reuter, President, R-Squared Solutions, LLC and Board of Directors Member, National Center for Simulation. Here’s what Reuter had to say about this year’s Military Virtual Training and Simulation Summit and the ongoing progress in the industry:
Modern Military Training Editors (MMT): What are some of the key themes for this year’s Military Virtual Training and Simulation Summit? Which sessions are you most looking forward to?
CAPT (ret.) Bill “Roto” Reuter (BR): This year, we will focus on the trajectory of this industry to include the roles of new technologies such as virtual/augmented/mixed reality, artificial intelligence and others. Additionally, there will be a focus on cyber and medical training and where virtual training can benefit these communities.
I think the session by Major General Maria Gervais titled “Improving Army Training Efforts via Adaptive Virtual Training and Simulation Technologies” will be very compelling, as she will discuss the Synthetic Training Environment (STE), which is one of the Army’s key priorities.
MMT: We noticed a topic to be discussed at the event is around interoperability across the services. How are challenges like interoperability being addressed by the training and simulation community?
BR: There are several ways that the services are ensuring interoperability in the training/simulation domain. One is on the network front. We have networks that move from the service or component level such as the Navy Continuous Training Environment, or NCTE, all the way up to the Joint Training Enterprise Network or JTEN. These networks and the several others have common standards and have the ability to seamlessly move information to enable Live, Virtual and Constructive training.
We are also doing the same in the cyber training domain with the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE). This environment will be accessed by all of the Cyber Forces regardless of service to ensure there are recent and relevant training scenarios available. Our cyber warriors must be proficient in this domain.
MMT: What are some of the other modeling and simulation challenges you’ve heard discussed among industry leaders and how are they working with the government to address those challenges?
BR: Most of the challenges are not about the maturity of the technology but the way the government acquires and fields technology. That cycle is far too long and is allowing our adversaries to introduce new capability with much more velocity than we are. The utility of some non-standard approaches to the formal acquisition process are being explored to shrink that gap.
MMT: What emerging training and simulation technologies are being integrated into training programs? How are they affecting training effectiveness?
BR: The advent of VR and AR technologies, along with the role of AI/Deep Learning are some key technologies being applied to this space. The demand to turn around a recent scene on a battlefield and render it in a simulator in near real-time for effective mission rehearsal is real. The capturing of data and feeding it into smart algorithms to make training even more robust and personalized is key to accelerating accumulated proficiency.
MMT: Where do you expect to see the most advances in training and simulation in the next year?
Through some of the above, I believe we will be able to make training more realistic in ways that we are confident will increase proficiency. We will mature VR and find its place in the family of training media.
Modern Military Training is a proud media sponsor for this educational and productive gathering of military training experts. You can learn more about the 2018 Military Virtual Training and Simulation Summit here.