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Training system enhances Balikatan 2012

April 24, 2012

By Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Holly

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Philippine -- Philippine and U.S. Army soldiers taking part in the field training exercise of Balikatan 2012 were introduced to the Initial - Homestation Instrumentation Training System, which offers real-world dynamics to training events.

I-HITS is a mobile training center that provides live support to units and can be utilized during a variety of training activities. I-HITS collects exercise data for the unit assessments, provides exercise control and training performance feedback after a training evolution without the need of organic infrastructure. The system provides access to other sources of data which ties in with other interfaces, such as Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems for both U.S. and AFP soldiers, which is its primary purpose at the FTX site.

Ultimately, it gives commanders and trainers the ability to have an instant replay of any training mission, anywhere.

"It's not just a capability for the U.S., it's a capability for the coalition--the AFP," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Greg A. Williams, deputy director of the Mission Training Complex, out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. "It provides an instrumented live training system for force-on-force collective training events."

"The I-HITS is very useful," said Philippine Army Sgt. Harold B. Ramilo, an operations sergeant for the 50th Infantry Division. "It is good to be able to track [what's happening on] the battlefield."

Moreover, the system can track the movement of forces on their actual terrain without using an unmanned aerial vehicle.

"It enhances our after action ability, as well as the ability to simulate a virtual UAV," said Williams. "We are retrieving telemetry data."

"We used the simulated UAV to track troop movement and position," said Ramilo. "It's very good."

The I-HITS system can track over 2,000 ground troops, and will get plenty of use by the nearly 700 combined service members at the FTX for Exercise Balikatan 2012.

Balikatan, a Filipino word meaning "shoulder-to-shoulder," is an annual bilateral exercise instrumental in increasing interoperability between the Philippine and U.S. militaries and is being conducted until April 26.

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