Wednesday’s Training & Simulation Industry Symposium had the feel of a class reunion more than a business conference. For more than 14 months, many military and industry professionals have been quarantined at home, working remotely, and unable to travel. It was a very challenging time for many people but for the modeling, simulation, and training industry, a very close-knit group, it was evident they were happy to be together again.

“We are thrilled to be back live for this year’s TSIS,” said RADM James Robb, USN (Ret), president of The National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA). “The in-person turnout at TSIS has been very impressive which indicates that attendees welcome the networking and social aspects of the event. Debbie Langelier and the NTSA staff, along with NDIA Central Chapter, have put together a hybrid model that allowed both an in-person and virtual presence. We are using TSIS to experiment the value and affordability of including this offering at I/ITSEC 2021.”

Held annually, TSIS is an opportunity for industry to network and interact with procurement officials for training and simulation products and services from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force. The conference allows industry insights for near-term and long-term opportunities, including panel discussions and Q&A sessions. Acquisition strategies, timing and funding levels are also provided during the briefs.

Ken Brace, owner of Rapid Prototyping, Services, LLC, a 3D printing service company, said that he’s been supporting IITSEC and TSIS as an exhibitor for 15 years. “I’m glad to see a lot of people here at TSIS and happy to see that people feel comfortable traveling again,” he said. “My sales have been down about 50 percent in this last year, and I attribute that to a lack of shows I have been able to attend. As a 3D printing service, being able to show customers what I do and put something in their hands really helps.”

“I’m very excited that KBR can be here at TSIS as we look to continue to grow our partnerships with other companies,” said Huat Ng, KBR Orlando site manager. “Meeting those company representatives in person makes it that much better.”

Yesterday focused on updates from the Air Force and the Navy, and also included an industry panel, “The Pros and Cons of Forming a Joint Venture.” Today’s schedule included morning updates from the Marine Corps, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, and a second industry panel, “Small Businesses on Large Opportunity Teams,” as well as the start of the U.S. Army updates, which continue throughout the afternoon. A third industry panel, “The Unintended Interpretations of Government Requests for Proposals,” will take place this afternoon, followed by presentations from ACC-Orlando, DHA Medical Simulation and Training, and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

NTSA reported that numbers are 1055, 231 of those online.

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