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Faces of Training Featured IITSEC 2017

With IITSEC 2017 just around the corner, the Modern Military Training team is excited to head down to Orlando, Florida to experience the latest simulation and training developments in the industry. Now in its 51st year, industry executives, military personnel, and academia will join us in this journey to attend one of the largest modeling and simulation conferences organized by the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA) and the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).

But before we go, we wanted to know what to expect from this year’s event, so we asked NTSA President, RADM James Robb to give us a sneak peak into some highlights to expect. Here is what he had to say:

NTSA President, RADM James Robb

This year’s theme is “Harnessing New Technologies to Win in a Complex World”, and one of these is Big Data.  I/ITSEC  2017 will explore how  Big Data and Big Data analytics can be harnessed to improve human performance, particularly in highly demanding environments or when engaged in complex tasks.

While we collect reams of data, little of it is organized into a coherent system  focused on learning and training.  If we can align data into a feedback loop to hone skills in real time, provide enhanced after-action review and track skills and accomplishments over time, we see unlimited ability to improve training at all levels.

Big Data will allow us to evaluate how quickly a student is learning and modulate the rate of instruction to fit that learning to the student’s individual learning style.  It will also provide digital analysis of best of breed training methods and allow the series and first responders to cut training time while simultaneously improving outcomes.

Wider Customer Adoption:

The exhibition hall floor at I/ITSEC showcases the diversity of the technology, from maintenance training protocols to disaster preparedness and healthcare, and a multitude of other applications.   While this rapid diversification of modeling and simulation has been a hallmark of recent years, thanks to significant increases in processing power, some industries lag behind in adopting the technology.

This is probably due to two factors: financial and psychological.  On the financial side, there is certainly an initial outlay when shifting from traditional training models to integration of simulated elements.  As has been proven time and again, however, these initial expenses are quickly recouped through usage of the technology.  The psychological hurdle is a bit harder to define; it probably results from reluctance to abandon longstanding practice, however inefficient that might be when compared with the advantages of training in virtual environments.

There is also a lack of appreciation of the full advantages of adopting modeling and simulation methodologies. This is often exacerbated by a general lack of usage of the technology within a particular sector; they are depriving a potential adopter of examples of success.

Operation Blended Warrior:

Now in its third successful year at I/ITSEC, Operation Blended Warrior (OBW) explores how to integrate training solutions by exploring why systems cannot be fully integrated in today’s environment.  Reasons for this include hardware, software, standards, protocols, security, encryption and policy challenges.

This year, for the first time, we are expanding OBW to include enhanced participation from NATO and also from Sweden, an important neutral.  This year, we will be looking at wireless solutions and opportunities in the cloud, as well as virtual servers and the impact of 5G networks as disruptive capabilities.

The Services think so much of OBW that they are considering taking it to the next level by sustaining the architecture on a persistent basis throughout the year.  This would make the developmental environment available to government and industry year round and allow them to further capitalize on the advancements  OBW makes throughout the year .

One of the principal complaints from industry is that it takes too long to get their products into a government approved testing environment.  We think OBW will pare this time lag, enabling us to bring new technologies to the warfighter in a timelier manner.

Other Highlights:

The recent series of natural disasters has underlined the imperative to be prepared for unusual but potentially catastrophic events.  A special event titled “Black Swan” has been a feature of I/ITSEC for the past several years, but it is probably more pertinent today than ever before.  This year, we will explore the effects of an EMP brought about by a coronal mass ejection.

Participants will include the Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), NASA, the Air Force Space Command, Navy satellite communications and NOAA.  Representatives from academia will also participate, bringing their insights on the societal aspects of the extended loss of communications which will inevitably result from such an event.

Thank you, RADM Robb for your thoughts about this year’s event. Want to learn more? Visit Modern Military Training’s dedicated IITSEC2017 section for ongoing coverage of the event.


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