Day 3 of I/ITSEC 2017 was filled with many discussions around artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and training effectiveness, specifically applied in the synthetic training environment (STE). With the U.S. Army as the branch of focus for I/ITSEC this year, we learned quite a bit about their applications and adoption of STE.
According to the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, “The Synthetic Training Environment (STE) is designed to provide a cognitive, collective, multi-echelon training and mission rehearsal capability for the operational, institutional and self-development training domains. It brings together the virtual, constructive and gaming training environments into a single STE for Army Active and Reserve Components as well as civilians.”
This approach really highlights the noticeable shift in training programs towards software-powered solutions, as opposed to solutions heavily dependent on hardware. The nimbleness, flexibility, and personalization available with software empower industry and service alike to create solutions that get to the root of training challenges and goals.
We heard from Raytheon about STE’s importance. “STE, will provide next generation training to the solider,” said Howard Miller, capture manager, Global Training Solutions, Raytheon. “Raytheon is at the forefront of training innovation and continues to bring optimized readiness through capabilities such as the our Virtual Classroom, adaptive learning approach and distributed training architecture.”
Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) also shared some thoughts with us on the trend. During our chat on the show floor, Co-CEO Arthur Smith-Alexion discussed how software and data are redefining training simulation solutions. The ability to apply raw data and create multiple Army terrains results in more effective training programs that address the goal for warfighters to train like they fight.
One of the major advantages to implementing STE programs that service branches like the U.S. Army value is the possibility to broaden training locations and more easily localize training. In a recent announcement from Cubic, President Dave Buss stated, “Military readiness is becoming increasingly more important as the U.S. and our partner nations’ armed forces move toward a more integrated, multi-domain environment.” Software and STE programs are making operation and training across domains a reality, regardless of location.
Nick Gibbs, Vice President and General Manager of Simulation and Training Solutions (STS) at Rockwell Collins also touched on another important advantage to STE training: affordability. “The cloud enables more flexibility and open source software and synthetic environments can help control costs,” he stated in a recent Q&A with Modern Military Training. “Other ways to manage costs are to tailor training based on experience, to remove redundant elements, and provide more focused, relevant trainings.”
The trend was also highlighted by General Dynamics, who recently announced a contract with the U.S. Army Contracting Command and explained how branches like the U.S. Army are creating more agile, reliable and effective training programs through the utilization of software-focused solutions.
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