Fires Simulations - The Way Ahead

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					     Fires Simulations—
            The Way Ahead




Two AH-64 Apache Helicopters engage targets in the Joint Fires
and Effects Training Simulator (JFETS) Close Air Support (CAS)
Module. (Photo by LTC Chris D. Niederhauser, Fires Center of Excellence [CoE] Battle
Lab, Fort Sill, Oklahoma)




S
      ince the 1980s, Fort Sill, Oklahoma,                                                                  initial entry, pre-deployment and sustain-
      has been a leader in simulations                               By LTC Christopher D.                  ment training. Third, leaders do not have
      development to support Field Ar-                                Niederhauser, FA57                    the ability to exercise cognitive decision-
tillery (FA) training. The Fires Battle                                                                     making tasks in a semi-immersive envi-
Lab (previously named the Depth and                                                                         ronment. Finally, Soldiers do not have the
Simultaneous Attack Battle Lab) was                         a Simulations Integrated Product Team.          capability to apply varying factors as they
the first to identify a need to develop                     This team has two initial initiatives. First    pertain to Artillery gunnery and see the
an interface that translated simulations’                   is the development of a strategic plan          ballistic effects in real-time outside of a
messages into tactical messages to stimu-                   that includes all Fort Sill and subsequent      live environment.
late Advanced FA Tactical Data System                       Fires CoE stakeholders. Second is an              Closing the Gaps. Given the above
(AFATDS) for training. This led to the                      organization review and development             gaps, the Fires CoE is working diligently
development of the Enhanced Protocol                        of recommendations for the optimum              to use off-the-shelf capabilities to close
Interface Unit that enabled Artillery                       management and planning of simulations.         the gaps rapidly and investing in tech-
staffs to train in a “free play” simulated                  To date, the team completed the organi-         nologies where capabilities do not exist
environment on a large scale. This first                    zational recommendations and an initial         already. The Fires Battle Lab staff is
step into “doing the impossible” has                        gap analysis. From this analysis, four key      working on three initiatives currently.
provided immeasurable benefits to the                       gaps are highlighted.                             Integrated Fires Simulated System.
Army and Department of Defense.                               First, FA organizations lack the ability      Integrating the Fire Support Combined
  Today, the Fires Center of Excellence                     to train leaders and staffs, fire support       Arms Tactical Trainer (FSCATT) into a
(CoE), again, is leading simulations                        teams, command and control, weapons             networked-training architecture was the
development on many fronts and is on                        systems and radar and meteorological            first step to merge current technologies
the cusp of providing enhanced training                     systems simultaneously in a mutually            into a training environment. Developing
capabilities. This article examines some                    supporting, fully interactive, realistic,       a message translator to bridge FSCATT
exciting capabilities that the Fires CoE                    immersive training environment on the           and AFATDS allows an observer in the
either has available or is developing to                    full spectrum of fire support operations        Call For Fire Trainer (CFFT) or Joint
give commanders a capability to train                       and tasks. Second, the Fires CoE does not       Fires and Effects Trainer System (JFETS)
their Soldiers and staffs.                                  have the capability to conduct distributed      to link digitally to the FSCATT.
  Simulations Integrated Product Team.                      individual/collective training within clas-       This digital capability from the ob-
In September 2008, Fires CoE chartered                      sified and unclassified environments for        server to an AFATDS expands the com-

                                                                                                    sill-www.army.mil/firesbulletin/ • March-April 2009   27
                                                                                                           TheVirtualPla-                        his platoon leadership, developing train-
                                                                                                       toon Game. The                            ing plans and managing time. Gradually,
                                                                                                       Virtual Platoon                           the officer progresses to other scenarios
                                                                                                       game’s concept                            where he plans live-training events and
                                                                                                       is a lieutenant,                          conducts rehearsals for these events
                                                                                                       upon his arrival                          within the game on geographically-
                                                                                                       to Basic Officer                          specific terrain. And finally, the officer
                                                                                                       Leaders Course                            could use the game to plan and rehearse
                                                                       
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: [...] FA organizations lack the ability to train leaders and staffs, fire support teams, command and control, weapons systems and radar and meteorological systems simultaneously in a mutually supporting, fully interactive, realistic, immersive training environment on the full spectrum of fire support operations and tasks. [...] the Fires CoEdoes not have the capability to conduct distributed individual/collective training within classified and unclassified environments for initial entry, pre-deploy ment and sustainment training. [...] Soldiers do not have the capability to apply varyingfactors as they pertain to Artillery gunnery and see the ballistic effects in real-time outside of a live environment.
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