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WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014  02:12:46 PM

Black Jack Brigade field tests new training systems

Email   Print   Share By Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs
September 27, 2012 | News
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Soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. fire from behind cover, here, during a Live Virtual Constructive Integrating Architecture Live Training Exercise Tuesday. Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs
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Soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. move through a cloud of green smoke during a Live Virtual Constructive Integrating Architecture Live Training Exercise Tuesday. Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs
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Bob Cohen, a Training Capabilities Management Live combat developer, describes and shows the Homestation Instrumentation Training System that Soldiers wear during a Live Virtual Constructive Integrating Architecture live training exercise Tuesday. Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs
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Lt. Col. Duke Samouce, a United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Capabilities Manager – Virtual training expert, explains the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Training helicopter simulator Tuesday. Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs
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The inside of a Close Combat Tactical Trainer tank simulator used to train Soldiers Tuesday. Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs
More than 600 Soldiers participated in a live training event as part of the field testing of the Army’s Integrated Training Environment Tuesday at Fort Hood.

Members of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Capability Manager have been the trainers and overseers while the Soldiers, members of the 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are the first to field test the equipment that integrates live training with computer-based virtual simulation programs and simulators.

Lt. Col. Shane Cipolla, United States Army Training and Doctrine Project Office – Integrating Architecture director, described how the system will tie together the Home Station Instrumentation Training System, a high-tech laser tag; the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer, a helicopter simulator; the Close Combat Tactical Trainer, a tank and infantry fighting vehicle simulator; and the ITE to make it possible to conduct a simultaneous live and virtual training exercise.

Cipolla said that while live training is always the best training to do, one of the great advantages that the ITE has is its ability to allow units to put whole brigade combat teams into the field through virtual play and simulated environments.

“It may not be as high fidelity as the live, but it’s still good training for subordinate units without putting them all out in the field,” Cipolla said. “The integrating architecture is currently designed to focus on the brigade combat teams, but we would like to be able to support division-sized elements in the future.”

Before they bring the system Armywide, Cipolla said they will complete the first fielding of the ITE by mid-December, and receive critiques from the Black Jack Brigade afterward. He said they can go back to the team that makes the integrating architecture and implement any necessary changes before the system goes Armywide.

Col. Robert Whittle Jr., Black Jack Brigade commander, said they were happy for the opportunity to help the Army assess how the new system is working, as well as put his command teams and troops through their paces.

“The timing for us is perfect,” Whittle said. “We just had a turnover of 80 percent of our staff and 100 percent of our commanders and command sergeant majors, all within the last 90 to 120 days. Normally, these Soldiers are assigned for two or three years at a time. So we’ve got a new team, and this is an opportunity for us to train that team on mission command.”

Whittle explained that trying to train an entire brigade combat team is an enormous task that would normally cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money, requiring the use of a large area or terrain and the many other factors evolved. Technology changes that, he said.

“By leveraging live training, virtual training and constructive

training we’re able to bring everything together and make it a common operational picture for staffs at battalion, task force, squadron and brigade combat team levels,” Whittle said. “That’s the goal we set for integrated architecture, and that’s what we’re running this week.”
 
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