By Rick Gregory, APEO Business Operations Support Staff

PEO STRI Team Orlando MemberFor years, military commanders have had to rely on a big table, lots of sand and little figures representing Soldiers, equipment and the lay of the land when conducting training for their units. The command staff would be huddled around the sand table, moving the friendly and opposing forces with their hands as they learned through radio communications how the mission was progressing. It was constructive simulation at its primitive stage.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the U.S. Army largely replaced these sand tables with computer-based constructive simulations to provide an unconstrained exercise environment, enabling multiple levels of command and staff to perform their normal warfighting tasks. Now, as the latest generation of constructive simulations comes of age, PM ConSim is delivering more intelligent, capable and flexible constructive simulations (e.g OneSAF and WARSIM) and enabling components (e.g. SE Core) to update the older first-generation systems.

“During training at their home stations, because of space and their given landscape, commanders can’t always replicate the operational environment for which they are training,” said Col. Wayne Epps, project manager, Constructive Simulation at PEO STRI. “By incorporating constructive simulation in training exercises, we can add those realistic conditions in their virtual training simulators and through their Mission Command Systems.”

PM ConSim provides the “C” in the fielding of the Live, Virtual and Constructive Integrating Architecture (LVC-IA). The current constructive component of LVC-IA version 1 is the Joint Land Component Constructive Training Capability (JLCCTC). To improve interoperability, PM ConSim will add the capabilities of OneSAF and SE Core to the JLCCTC capability.

JLCCTC is the state-of-the-art technology that is a collection of simulations, data collection and after-action review tools. Basically, they provide the new sand table. Together, the JLCCTC components stimulate the commander’s Mission Command System to cause the command and staff to react to the incoming digital information they are receiving on the ongoing training exercise.

“JLCCTC creates a realistic training environment for commanders and their staffs from brigade to theater level,” Epps said. “The constructive simulation toolkit consists of a number of models, tools, and interfaces that commanders can use based on the training audience. In the second version of LVC-IA, OneSAF, or One Semi-Automated Forces, will play the role of a constructive ground model.” In addition, it is expected that PM ConSim’s other flagship constructive model, WARSIM, will also be available to training audiences as a constructive model in LVC-IA.

OneSAF, when integrated with SE Core, or Synthetic Environment Core, simulates aspects of the urban operating environment with special attention paid to detailed buildings for urban operations including interior rooms, furniture, tunnels and subterranean features.

“OneSAF and SE Core generate the common virtual training environment that Soldiers see when they look through the helmet-mounted displays or out the window in virtual trainers such as the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer or the Close Combat Tactical Trainer,” Epps explained. “The terrain, weather, buildings, equipment, weapons and other aspects of the battlefield are brought to virtual life through OneSAF and SE Core. The realism they generate for the virtual trainers is incredible.

“What is also incredible is the great work accomplished by the PM ConSim team since I have been here and long before I arrived,” Epps said. “Their knowledge, enthusiasm, dedication to the job at hand and continued professionalism give me great pride in being the project manager of ConSim.”

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