By Shane Klestinski, Associate Editor

 

Senior officials representing the Marine Corps’ Program Manager Training Systems (PM TRASYS) office, updated Training & Simulation Symposium (TSIS) attendees in Orlando, Florida, June 12.

 

The briefers included John Taylor, PM TRASYS deputy program manager; Marine Maj. Michael Ashmore, Synthetic Training Systems (STS) modeling and simulation officer; Marine Lt. Col. Rory Hermann, Range Training Systems (RTS) product manager; and Adam Emanuel, III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) team lead representing Warfighter Training Support (WTS).

 

Taylor provided a general overview of PM TRASYS, to include its place in the Marine Corps’ overall acquisition structure, senior leadership, and the organization’s mission. He also outlined its top priorities: 1) warfighter focus, 2) continuously improving its culture, 3) speed of relevance, 4) innovative organization, and 5) improved communication and collaboration.

 

“[PM TRASYS] doesn’t do all training systems for the Marine Corps – it’s not practical,” Taylor said. “What we really do are nonstandard training systems. Think about training systems that are not specific to a military occupational specialty or specific weapons systems platforms – a great example is the underwater egress trainer. If you’re going on a ship or vehicle that’s on or near water, you have to execute underwater egress training… that applies to every MOS across the Marine Corps.”

 

Ashmore presented status updates on training systems that STS is developing, as well as future plans for programs like the Operator Driver Trainer and the Deployed Virtual Training Environment. STS officials anticipate the requirements of most of their programs to change as training needs evolve, but some, like the Supporting Arms Virtual Trainer, will terminate by the end of fiscal year 2025.

 

Hermann described RTS’ portfolio of programs as closer to “traditional Marine Corps training,” which involves live, outside ranges, and Marines in force-on-force scenarios “running around, shooting and putting rounds on target.”

 

According to Hermann, advances in technology have made the Marine Corps capable of achieving scale that was not previously possible on traditional ranges. For example, the Marine Corps Tactical Instrumentation System can provide realistic, non-live-fire capabilities to execute force-on-force training with personnel devices as part of a tactical engagement suite to improve training throughout a range of operations. Such capabilities involve vehicle-mounted devices to simulate force-on-force training. Other programs, such as Weapons Surrogate, also enable Marines to use a variety of direct- and indirect-fire weapons.

 

“Now, we can bring the effects of having full battalions or regiments – or even Marine expeditionary forces – going head-to-head with each other,” Hermann said.

 

Emanuel noted that WTS played a maintenance and sustainment role. He went on to say that WTS is MEF-aligned because it has systems that each MEF uses “a little bit differently” depending on their specific needs or focuses, although they go across the enterprise.

 

“My people will work ahead of time with the officer in charge of construction and base personnel,” Emanuel said. “[They’ll] make sure that once they get the beneficial occupancy date and all the ‘punch lists’ are done, his team can come in and do the installs and the operational checks.”

To view the PowerPoint slides for the PM TRASYS brief, to go: https://www.ntsa.org/-/media/sites/ntsa/events/2024/41t0/0612_0845-0915_pm-trasys.pdf?download=1.

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