• New TRADOC commander visits post

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  • Scott Myers | National Simulation Center
    Gen. Stephen Townsend, the new commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, visited the Combined Arms Center Training Innovation Facility March 15 accompanied by Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais, deputy commanding general, Combined Arms Center-Training.
    Townsend assumed command of TRADOC on March 2 from Gen. David Perkins, who retired. Townsend was at Fort Leavenworth on his first regularly scheduled trip to address the brigade commanders, battalion commanders and command sergeants major attending the Pre-Command Course. In addition to PCC and the National Simulation Center tour, he addressed the School of Advanced Military Studies, received an overview briefing from Army University Provost Brig. Gen. Scott Efflandt, and conducted a working lunch with TRADOC Analysis Center Director Pamela Blechinger.
    At Fort Leavenworth, Townsend learned about the innovative work of the CAC-TIF and its mission as the demonstration cell for the TRADOC Capability Manager, Integrated Training Environment, which examines existing capability gaps and demonstrates potential solutions for exploitation by material developers.
    The CAC-TIF focuses on the ongoing migration from the Integrated Training Environment to the Synthetic Training Environment accomplished through delivery of requirements recommendations that are developed in cooperation with the proponents and the operational force. Objectives include providing effective collective training capabilities at reduced cost into the hands of soldiers and units more quickly than the current acquisition process does.
    Among the demonstrations provided to Townsend was the Stryker Virtual Collective Trainer. A collective training capability for mounted and dismounted Stryker operations that, like most of their capabilities, leverages commercial technologies and existing Army programs — in this case, Games for Training’s Virtual Battlespace 3. Townsend spoke of the need to provide “STE capability to the infantry squad,” an objective of the CAC-TIF team.
    The One World Terrain capability also continues to evolve, with the goal of providing a Google Earth-like terrain capability. If successful, OWT will provide the commander and units the ability to select any terrain from the globe appropriate for their needs. OWT is also developing a unit-level terrain generation application using commercial aerial drones with cameras and software. Townsend said that he “likes the notion of units having the ability to design their own terrain and ranges.” He was impressed with the OWT’s work stating that it would provide a “great application for mission rehearsals.”
    Townsend was also given a demonstration of haptics and immersive high-fidelity 3D technologies, in which he fired weapons and threw hand grenades. These technologies are being evaluated and explored for various training application requirements development.
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