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60 Years – Decades of Training
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
By Terri Bernhardt
Naval Support Activity, Orlando is the site, March 19, 2010 the date. Navy Captain Harry Robinson, Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) and Dr. Jim Blake, U.S. Army, SES, Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) proudly hosts the two services’ 60th anniversary celebration. Representatives from the Army, Navy and local community leaders speak to guests that are gathered to celebrate the spirit of partnership, and a strong heritage of delivering superior training systems to America’s warfighters, contributing to the training of the world’s most elite fighting force.
The agreement between the Army and Navy that began sixty years ago is still benefiting military service members today, and has delivered decades of training for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Just months before the North Korean People’s Army invaded South Korea and the United States intervened, Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray and Acting Secretary of the Navy, Dan Kimball signed the historic document that set in motion one of the most successful partnerships that exists between two military services. The agreement called for the individual services to operate within their own service structure, but to collaborate as they procured and delivered training systems to service members.
The document, believed to be the longest standing agreement between the military services, instructed the personnel (military and civilian) to be integrated and operate in a unified manner. The Army and Navy organizations have produced thousands of training products over the years starting with individual training systems and evolving to very complex systems in the later years.
The MILES system (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System) was invented by a Navy engineer working on Army programs. The system was state-of-the-art in the late 70s and early 80s and revolutionized military training. MILES replaced a manual/visual training system that relied on subjective input by military trainers. The new system operated by mounting a laser module to the barrel of a real weapon and an adapter for firing blanks. The system worked with sensors and receivers placed on the Soldiers. As the service members practiced firing their weapons, the sensors were activated and provided an audible and visual alarm when hit.
In the late 80’s the training commands began to tap into computer capabilities, using full color action scenes and providing interaction with multiple targets. The services also began to research the impact of collective training and linking the simulation and training systems together to achieve team training. This yielded some high quality training systems and set the stage for the establishment of distributed interactive simulations and high-level architecture standards.
During the same time, the military capitalized on the power of simulation and began producing some high quality constructive simulations that provided training for senior military leaders and their staffs.
The 90’s brought new opportunities as the Army, Navy and other services began using gaming and multi media to produce more realistic training – making it the next best thing to operating in the real environment. Moreover, in cases where it was feasible, systems migrated from large full-scale, motion-based platforms to desktops. As the technology matured, simulation systems became more affordable.
In the late 90s and early into the next decade, the military as continued to evolve game-based solutions, turning to the entertainment industry to assist military trainers in story telling that would engage the trainee. The services specifically tapped into Hollywood technology to engage the art of using ‘props’ to immerse the service members in the systems that would teach them the critical lessons they needed to execute their missions on the battlefield.
In the last ten years, technology continues to flourish. Desktop, game-based learning now includes excursions into virtual worlds and link ups with service members all over the globe to execute a lesson plan, rehearse a mission or plan a military exercise.
The partnership that began some 60 years ago continues to expand in the spirit of teamwork and collaboration. And Team Orlando continues to welcome new members to the team in that same spirit of collaboration and integration to operate in a unified manner.
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