Tisha Swart-Entwistle | Combined Arms Center-Training Public Affairs
“Today, we can only replicate about 60 percent of the capabilities of a brigade combat team at our combat training centers,” said Combined Arms Center-Training Deputy Commander Col. Charles Lombardo in a video created for the virtual Association of the United States Army annual meeting and Exposition Oct. 13-16.
Because of the precautions related to COVID-19, the decision was made in late July to convert the AUSA event into a virtual meeting.
Lombardo will be discussing live training modernization during his Warrior’s Corner webinar Oct. 13 on the AUSA virtual meeting platform. After presenting the video, Lombardo will be available for a question-and-answer session where he will be joined by Col. Michael Parsons, Army Capability Manager Live.
“Live training is the key to building readiness across our formations,” Lombardo said. “Live training forces our commanders and units to deal with multiple dilemmas simultaneously.”
The Army’s shift back to large-scale combat operations has helped to sharpen the need to update and modernize how live training is conducted.
“It’s really imperative that we provide tough, realistic and vigorous training,” Lombardo said. “We are trying to ensure that no soldier goes untrained into combat.”
Part of live training modernization includes improving on technology the Army has relied on for the last 30 years, the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System.
MILES is built on technologies developed in the 1970s and 80s. The technology is limited to direct fire weapons systems, which leaves some, like mortars and anti-tank weapons, without realistic force-on-force simulation.
Because it is a laser-based system, other limitations of MILES include foliage and buildings. A soldier or squad concealed behind some foliage or in a building might be safe in training but in actual combat would be vulnerable to enemy weapons.
Lombardo said the current MILES gear is reaching its endpoint and that at some point in the very near future it will require significant funding to remain functional past 2026.
“As we talk about live training modernization, the problem that we are trying to solve, and what we need feedback on, is ‘How do we merge and improve the necessity of live training with the capabilities of the emerging technologies?’” Lombardo said. “How do we bring all that together?”
For more information about the upcoming AUSA meeting visit https://www.ausa.org/meet.