Jan - Feb 2012: Article

New Technologies Train Army Sustainment Units

Distributive simulation networks push mission command training to sustainment unit commanders and staffs and reduce the Army's training costs by using new technologies.

The Army Reserve's 75th Mission Command Training Division (MCTD) in Houston, Texas, and the Logistics Exercise and Simulation Directorate (LESD) at Fort Lee, Virginia, work together to train Army combat sustainment support units through the use of newly available technologies. An accredited distributive simulation network (DSN) serves as the vehicle to push simulation of the sustainment Joint Deployment Logistics Model (JDLM) to approved home-station locations and combat training centers (CTCs).

The ability to push or broadcast low-cost, simulation-driven exercises to multiple locations on a distributive network for training reduces costs during a time of constrained Army budgets. According to Field Manual (FM) 7–0, Training Units and Developing Leaders for Full Spectrum Operations, "Commanders employ the live-virtual-constructive training environment, as appropriate, to help replicate the conditions in the projected operational environment, optimize training time, and mitigate resource shortfalls."

New training capabilities that are part of the Army's second training revolution work in concert with the current concepts governing Army training conducted during the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle. At a time of tight budgets and personnel shortages, the combined efforts of the Army's premier training division, the 75th MCTD, and the Army's sustainment capabilities integrator, LESD, may help to significantly improve how the Army trains the force. DSNs are the way ahead for training through the application of available technology.

The Army Training Revolutions
Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Regulation 350–70, Systems Approach to Training Management, Processes, and Products, describes the first Army training revolution:

TRADOC's adaptation of the Interservice Procedures for Instructional Systems Development (ISD) with the addition of collective training resulted in the proven process we have today for developing Army training, the Systems Approach to Training (SAT). For the first time in Army history, critical tasks were identified for all unit and individual soldier jobs. Analysis of those tasks identified conditions under which those tasks should be performed and the standard to which the tasks should be performed to ensure success on the battlefield. Task information was captured in all training courses, materials, and literature (such as Mission Training Plans [MTPs] and Soldier's Training Publications [STPs]).

Developments in the capabilities of the live, virtual, constructive, and gaming training environments all build toward a new, efficient way of training the force. As described in TRADOC Regulation 350–70, "The fundamental principles of the first training revolution are still the foundation of Army training. However, technology has greatly altered today's training environment, and it will lead us into another training revolution."

The Army's second revolution will occur after available technologies are applied to home station training.

Role of the 75th MCTD
The 75th MCTD serves as a premier mission command and staff training organization servicing all Army components. The division holds the majority of the Army's simulation operations officers (functional area 57A). Its 5 brigades and their subordinate operations groups, which are located throughout the United States, supported 157 brigade and battalion-sized units in training year 2010 with more than 80 missions.

The 75th MCTD conducts predeployment battalion and higher mission command staff training for all Army component forces at home stations, mobilization training centers, and mission command training centers in support of ARFORGEN. The Army now emphasizes training of contingency expeditionary force units rather than deployment expeditionary force units in the ARFORGEN cycle because of the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq and the projected decrease of Army units in Afghanistan.[Contingency expeditionary force units are units that do not have a deployment date. They go through the same ARFORGEN reset and training cycles as deployment expeditionary force units, but they have missions such as homeland defense and civil support, overseas exercises, institutional support, and global response.]

Technologies and Systems
The 75th MCTD uses the Army Battle Command System (ABCS) during sustainment training, including the Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3), Maneuver Control System, and Command Post of the Future. The Army's previous Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, Lieutenant General Mitchell H. Stevenson, stated that BCS3 is the premier mission command sustainment tool.

A DSN would allow the 75th MCTD to project simulations of ABCS as used in digital command posts. Simultaneous support could occur at multiple locations, which would economize training with significant cost reductions.

However, security mechanisms must be set in place before any classified simulation data may be pushed through a DSN. The Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP) ensures that controls are set as a means of meeting security requirements. The controls are defined by the particular system's mission assurance category and confidentiality level. Once the DIACAP accreditation process is achieved for a DSN, classified simulation data may be pushed to a location within the network. This accreditation will enhance the 75th MCTD's training capability by allowing it to use the latest available technologies.

LESD serves as a capabilities integrator and provider of worldwide sustainment mission command training exercises. It provides exercise support to the institutional and operational forces to assist commanders in preparing Soldiers to successfully execute their sustainment missions.

LESD manages the JDLM, which simulates BCS3 in accredited DSN or stand-alone exercise events. The two LESD categories of exercise support are exercise design and exercise execution. Exercise design includes planning and coordinating with a unit to build a database that reflects that unit's task organization, logistics capabilities, and established logistics support relationships, all in accordance with doctrinal requirements.

The exercise execution category of support includes database adjustment, BCS3 simulation, technical support in managing the network, coordination of simulation management with the exercise's technical controllers, and maintenance of the Logistics Federation (LOGFED) server.

LESD has worked with the 75th MCTD in support of exercise events, including command post exercise–sustainment, Pacific Warrior, Patriot Warrior, and other culminating training events. The level of support that LESD provides can be scaled as required, and training is available for building a database on JDLM.

Sustainment Units in the Reserve Components
The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve provide more than 80 percent of the sustainment units within the total force. Because of this, Reserve component units need LESD's ability to provide training support in the use of JDLM so they can simulate using BCS3 to obtain a logistics common operating picture, commodity tracking capability, and sustainment unit status.

LESD may push the logistics model anywhere in the world, provided there is an accredited DSN. Once the 75th MCTD completes the DIACAP accreditation process for its own DSN, it will have the capability to push classified simulation data for the training of Reserve component sustainment units.

Home Station Training
Future training concepts call for most training of Army units to occur at the unit's home station during the ARFORGEN train phase. The "walk" increment of the crawl/walk/run standard of measure occurs at home station, where standards-based core skills and capabilities training will nurture individual and collective training before the unit's arrival at a CTC. The CTC training will provide a high-fidelity operational environment for brigade-level and above training in a live and constructive setting.

The distributive network training concept at home station, along with a high-fidelity training event at a CTC, will fully prepare a unit before it enters the surge force or available force pools at the end of the ARFORGEN training cycle.

With the development of mission command training centers at each of its brigade locations, the 75th MCTD can employ simulation exercise scenarios for unit training events. JDLM database packages developed through LESD may focus on specific commanders' training objectives for the unit and its mission at hand. The Army Reserve's training divisions, the 75th MCTD, and the Army's capabilities integrator for sustainment, LESD, forge a formidable team to tackle mission command training for combat sustainment support organizations in the contingency expeditionary force pools of the ARFORGEN cycle.

Major James P. Mulvehill is the commandant of the Regional Training Site–Maintenance at Fort Hood, Texas. He was previously the senior Active Guard Reserve TRADOC representative at the National Simulation Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He holds a B.A. degree in liberal arts from Grandview College and an M.B.A. degree in logistics management from Touro University International. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College.


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