An Army tool to streamline training and allow interoperability should finish fielding at Fort Bliss by Jan. 25, part of a larger roll-out to multiple training stations across the country.
The tool is dubbed LVC-IA, the live-virtual-constructive integrating architecture. It is a combination of hardware and software, and is the Army program of record that provides protocol standards for interfacing different components of simulations. One focal program is the Integrated Training Environment, a combination of systems that can be used for both individual and multi-echelon training.
The ITE is composed of eight parts: mission command systems, people (such as trainers and trainees), facilities (such as ranges, training areas, mission training complexes, and simulation centers), a network on which to pass the data, training aids such as simulators, the LVC-IA itself, terrain (both synthetic and real), and other data.
The LVC-IA was tested late last year at Fort Hood and accredited with some limitations by Brig. Gen. Mike Lundy of the Combined Arms Center – Training. The program executive officer approved the milestone in mid-December, meaning LVC-IA could go into full production and fielding.
According to Col. John Janiszewski, head of the National Simulation Center, evaluators at the test found seven key limitations. Three of the issues have been fixed, while the remaining four are expected to be solved with patch releases to the LVC-IA software over time.
Problems include issues with object representation and difficulty ensuring fair fight, or making sure that one simulation does not have an advantage over the others. Communication problems between the helicopter simulator AVCATT and constructive radars meant the radar was unable to see virtual aircraft. Finally, LVC-IA can also only operate on a closed network, part of a larger policy issue.
The three fixes enabled the constructive part of the simulation to save data, improved the ability to transfer control from a virtual simulator to a constructive simulation, and made it possible for LVC-IA to provide information to the field artillery mission command system.
LVC-IA did successfully allow live, virtual, and constructive components to see one another, Janiszewski said, and supported various levels of training. Command staff was also able to see feeds from virtual UAVs.
In addition to the patches, there are several changes anticipated for the next version of LVC-IA and, therefore, the ITE.
Developers want to adapt LVC-IA to support distributed training, meaning a brigade with battalions at different posts could train all units simultaneously.
“We’re also looking to expand the ability of the LVC-IA to support multiple brigade combat teams,” Janiszewski said.
While version two of the LVC-IA is not scheduled until 2015, a group within the NSC is working on a proof of principle that connects home station training to a combat training center rotation. Developers plan to execute the link-up this summer by allowing warfighters at Fort Polk and a sustainment brigade at home station to train together.
“The biggest improvement we’re going to make with version two is we’re going to incorporate games for training,” said Janiszewski, meaning systems such as Virtual Battlespace 2 could play a more important part in LVC exercises.
Janiszewski said there are also plans to add the Dismounted Soldier Training System and instrumentation systems at combat training centers. In addition, there are plans to incorporate other services’ simulations, such as constructive sims like JSAF (Joint Semi-Automated Forces) or AWSIM (Air Warfare Simulation).