Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, Commanding General, I Corps and Joint Base Lewis — McChord visited the Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Team (STE/CFT) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. May 16, 2018 for briefings on the Combined Arms Center – Training and Synthetic Training Environment. He also toured the Combined Arms Center-Training Innovation Facility (CAC-TIF) where he was given a hands on demonstration of several STE prototype capabilities.
Accompanied by the Director, Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Team and Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center – Training, Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais. Volesky viewed STE prototypes – the Stryker Virtual Collective Trainer (SVCT) and the One World Terrain (OWT) Capability.
Gervais highlighted key evolving technologies the STE/CFT is experimenting with in its ongoing rapid requirements development efforts supporting the development of the STE and the Soldier Squad Virtual Collective Trainer, a DOD priority to provide state of the art Soldier/squad level close combat virtual training capability to the Army and Marines. Maj. Christopher Finnigan, Chief, CAC-TIF led the demonstration of the SVCT that fills a critical sixteen year training gap. Volesky quickly noted the realistic graphics and terrain display and was informed how the STE will provide high quality graphics and a common terrain format across all of the training environments.
“We need this capability today” Volesky said. He was impressed to learn that units at Fort Carson, Colo. have already incorporated the SVCT into their pre-gunnery training programs. Volesky was particularly impressed with the cost savings, and the much improved collective training capability stating that he thought the SVCT showed great promise and said that developing the SVCT was “exactly the right thing to do.”
Volesky was then provided a demonstration of the OWT capability. The city of San Francisco was displayed, and though he said he’d never been there he could recognize it was San Francisco immediately because of the realistic key landmark features within the city’s well known terrain. The fidelity and detail was in striking contrast to anything available for training purposes in the Army today. One of the OWT objectives is to make any part of global terrain available to units for training.
“You guys [STE/CFT] are doing great work here” Volesky said, “and this [STE] is better than anything I’ve ever seen.”
In his closing remarks, Volesky asked what he could do to help the team, and voiced his opinion that Army commanders will need to have a discussion about how to optimally leverage the STE for training. Identifying the transition point between simulations training and live training will be critical. Virtual training gates and standards will need to be established to help commanders get the most out of the STE and to smooth the transition between when simulations training stops and live training begins.