Training and Training Technology Battle Lab
The ARNG Training and Training Technology Battle LAB (T3BL) is aggressively pursuing training into the 21st Century with an addition to the current facility that will provide and integrate the most current training devices and strategies in the Army.
Phase I of the construction was the Synthetic Theater of War (STOW) hub and was completed in 1999. A STOW hub delivers the virtual and constructive capabilities to link multiple locations that have the capabilities to connect unique and varied simulators and simulations. Phase II construction was fully funded in the 1999 budget and construction will begin in the fall of 2000. It will encompass six night fighting lanes, a Close Combat Tactical Trainer bay to accommodate an Abrams and Bradley Company suite and a Fire Support Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (FSCATT) bay, and eight multimedia classrooms.
T3BL Training Branch conducted testing and evaluation on numerous Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations (TADSS) during 1999. The goal continues to be the integration of the live, virtual and constructive training domains to maximize training opportunities for all Reserve Component units.
In 1998, a Battle Focused Training Exercise (BFTX) was conducted with 2-113th Infantry from July 25 to August 8 at Fort Dix to validate the Battle Focused Training Strategy (BFTS). This strategy was conceived and developed by T3BL and was the basis for this training exercise. In 1997, this training was conducted as an experiment to validate the principal strategy. Platoons conducted scenario-based maneuver training (lanes training), company commanders and battalion staff rehearsed the Battalion's Selected Course of Action in the constructive environment and the final operation was executed both constructive and live. The entire BFTX capitalized on operating in live, virtual and constructive training environments. T3BL Battle Staff Training Branch assisted the unit in battalion staff training on the Janus Constructive Simulation. As a result, the BFTS was further validated as an effective training method.
The lab developed a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) emergency response scenario utilizing Spectrum and Janus constructive simulations. Each simulation database was manipulated from its military application to that of a civilian emergency response. Spectrum provides the situational events and Janus the ability to execute response actions. These two simulators are used to train emergency responders and Emergency Operation Centers. A joint simulation exercise demonstration was presented on November 14, during the FEMA Region 2, WMD Conference held at the T3BL. Efforts to coordinate and schedule exercises with these simulations for local, county, and state emergency response personnel continue.
In 1999, expanding upon the successful Battle Focused Training Strategy, the T3BL developed the Field Artillery Enhanced Training Experiment (FAETE) that fully integrates the live, virtual and constructive training environments. FAETE revolved around a constructive battle being fought on the JANUS simulation by the 50th Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division, with the Brigade Tactical Operation Center (TOC), along with two maneuver Task Force TOC's live in the field. The 3- 112th Field Artillery provided direct support artillery to the brigade from live and virtual firing positions. FAETE was planned as an experiment to train Field Artillery units at the level organized by optimizing the capabilities of live, virtual and constructive training environments. The key element of FAETE was the use of a constructive simulation, FIRESIM XXI, which was developed at the Depth and Simultaneous Attack Battle Lab at Fort Sill, OK. During FAETE, FIRESIM XXI was the integral component in creating a STOW environment, which linked the live fire support Command, Control and Communications systems of the FA Battalion with a Distributive Interactive Simulation compliant version of JANUS. The experiment was conducted from July 10-24 at Fort Dix, and was a resounding success. This experiment yielded a training strategy that will enhance training for all Field Artillery units by providing an environment to conduct multiechelon training under the "train as you fight" principle.
The T3BL's Civil Support OPS Group conducted a Weapons Of Mass Destruction exercise for the Burlington County Emergency Operations Coordinator and his staff on August 28. This exercise was designed to replace a "Table Top" exercise using computer simulation as the training driver, which supported the EOC Staff and supporting organizations in the county. It was stressed to the county that this was their exercise and the computer was another tool. The planning for the exercise began 4 months earlier and included a Familiarization Exercise conducted on July 24. The exercise was executed in three phases: Alert and Response, Incident Mitigation, and Recovery. County and Township participants included representatives from the police, SWAT, fire, EMS, HAZMAT team, and Health.
Field Artillery Team
In 1998, the Field Artillery Team provided the expertise for the Fire Support Combined Arms Tactical Trainer user test conducted at Fort Sill, OK. The team was also developing the Field Artillery Enhanced Training Experiment (FAETE) and a STOW which was to integrate live, virtual and constructive training in July 1999.
In 1999, the Field Artillery Team provided Subject Matter Expert (SME) support to Raytheon in Orlando, FL, assisting in the development of the FSCATT. The Battle Lab received two of the half million dollar devices in February. They also have worked closely with Fidelity Technologies enhancing the Guard Unit Armory Device Full Interactive Simulation Trainer (GUARDFIST) II and IIA, which trains forward observers on how to call for fire. The FA Team also utilized the technology of the Digital Systems Test and Training Simulator (DSTATS), and linked DSTATS with GUARDFIST II/IIA. As a result of their expertise, NGB-ART requested a training strategy for ARNG utilization of the DSTATS.
In 1998, the Armor Team provided instructor support to Region A Total Army School System (TASS) for the accreditation of the Armor Crewman Reclassification Course. They also performed as Subject Matter Experts advising Region A TASS on the Abrams Full Crew Interactive Simulation Trainer (A-FIST) and developed its initial inclusion into the Program Of Instruction for the Armor Transition Reclassification Course. A-FIST's inclusion into the instruction program was approved by the Fort Knox Armor School.
In 1999, the Armor Team continued work on the Abrams Full Crew Interactive Simulator Trainer (AFIST), an M1 tank full crew simulator. As the Guard SME on the AFIST, the Armor Team has been working with NGB on recommendations to network the AFIST device to conduct platoon level training. Their current mission will be ensuring that various armor simulations are PC compatible.
In 1998, the Infantry Team continued efforts to refine small arms TADSS and integrate them into weapons training strategies. One device in this arena is an electronic laser-sensored replica of the Army's Alternate Course (Alt. "C") rifle qualification target. This past summer the Alt. "C" device was subjected to initial user and preliminary beta testing at the T3BL as part of an ongoing joint effort between the National Guard and Army Reserve. The device, manufactured in New Jersey by Robotec, could well become a standard means of rifle qualification throughout the active and reserve components of both the Army and Air Force. The Infantry team also conducted two Heavy Anti-armor Weapons (HAW) Leaders Courses at Fort Dix for the Egyptian Army. The courses focused on the tactical employment of the TOW HAW and were developed and customized in-house by T3BL training developers.
In 1999, the Infantry Team continued testing and evaluation on the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST); a laser operated small arms and crew served weapons firing simulator. They also worked with BEAMHIT America on their laser operated small arms simulators the BeamHit 2000, BeamHit Blazer and the BeamHit 25 meter Alternate Course C (Small Arms Qualification). In addition, the Infantry Team wrote a capabilities study, as directed by NGB, for the BeamHit 2000 simulated infantry trainer.
Regional Training Site - Maintenance (RTS-M)
The Regional Training Site - Maintenance (RTS-M) at Fort Dix has a key role in the overall TASS to provide wheel and track vehicle maintenance training to Army forces located in the Northeast region. Training is provided on primary Army systems such as the High Mobility Multi Purpose-wheeled Vehicle, Palletized Loading System, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Abrams M1 series of Main Battle Tanks, recovery operations, logistical training, and Non-Commissioned Officers Educational System (NCOES).
During 1998, the RTS-M trained 400 soldiers in maintenance and leadership skills. The NJ RTS-M was one of the top rated RTS-M's in the entire nation. Following 1997's success as the first RTS-M to provide Distributive Learning (DL), the RTS-M is currently developing DL programs that will have a direct impact on readiness. In September 1998, the RTS-M began broadcasting readiness ordnance courses to twelve states. The RTS-M, with funding from both the NJARNG and the National Guard Bureau, has created a state-of-the-art mechanist and welding facility. The RTS-M is one of only three Army facilities in the entire nation capable of training and qualifying national guard, reserve, and active duty soldiers in the Military Occupation Specialties (MOS). Following an evaluation by the Combined Arms Support Command from Fort Lee, the RTS-M was accredited and certified to provide MOS-Q and NCOES instruction to soldiers under the TASS.
The successes of the RTS-M during 1999 included training over 350 soldiers in maintenance and leadership skills, the first RTS-M to provide distributive training (Distance Learning) to several sites at once, assisted the Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee to develop, test and validate emerging Total Army School System Courses. The RTS-M has been assigned the Army wide mission under Total Army School System (TASS), to train Welders (44B) and Mechanists (44E MOSQ and NCOES) in all 7 Regions of TASS.
In 1999, virtual, Live and Constructive (VLC) Training Environments for Maintenance, a concept for training future maintenance technicians, was evaluated at the T3BL. This evaluation was conducted under an Army Concept Evaluation Program sponsored by the Army Training and Doctrine Command in Washington, DC. The study did prove, with the help of many New Jersey National Guard soldiers, that integrating the VLC domains can provide quality training at a reduced cost.
The Battle Lab and RTS-M, in concert with NGB and Security Assistance Training Field Activity, has further extended its responsibilities, by training International Military Students on operations, maintenance, and employment of the M60A3 Tank and M109A5 Howitzer. Two groups of Greek students were trained during 1999.
The T3BL has played an integral part in the development of Distributed Training Technology's during 1999. T3BL advises and assists in developing and implementing DoD learning technology policies and standards to ensure interoperability and effectiveness of advanced learning products and processes. The T3BL serves as a focal point for developing, coordinating, and applying distributed training technologies. The Lab promotes collaboration between federal, state, and local government activities, as well as with industry and academia, on all aspects of learning technology.
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