I/ITSEC 2023: US Army switches training focus to cyber and EW
The US Army has been changing its training focus away from modernisation and has instead been paying greater attention to the development of training solutions within the intelligence, cyber and electronic warfare (EW) domains.
Speaking at I/ITSEC 2023 in Orlando, Florida, this week, Douglas R. Bush, assistant secretary of the Army Commanding General (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) stressed the need to recognise that the intelligence and EW domains were now ‘more important than ever’.
‘The ability to actually train soldiers to do intel and EW at a high level of fidelity has always been a challenge’, he explained. ‘It is difficult to replicate those environments. Other services have wrestled with the same challenge but we are on a path now [on which] we can build a new system.’
The US Army’s Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) currently conducts the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Tactical Proficiency Trainer Increment 2 (IEWTPT Inc 2) capability alongside General Dynamics Mission Systems.
IEWTPT Inc 2 has been intended to provide a multi-domain realistic target environment for training military intelligence analysts and system operators in multiple disciplines such as all source, signals, human, counter and geospatial Intelligence, in addition to EW.
It has also been tasked with providing standalone and networked training for individual, crew and collective, mission rehearsals and exercises in simulated scenarios, from the unclassified level up to the top-secret sensitive compartmented information level.
In terms of cyber, the service has conducted the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE) training platform. The PCTE platform has been designed to be the foundation for collective training exercises and to enable individual sustainment training, team certification and mission rehearsal. The realistic training solution has offered variable conditions to increase the readiness and lethality of Cyberspace Operations Forces, while standardising, simplifying and automating the training management process.
The persistent cyber training environment has been designed to become the foundation for collective training exercises. (Photo: US Army)
PCTE will integrate and be interoperable with the other Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture (JCWA) elements.
Bush stressed that a persistent cyber training environment was ‘a very difficult thing’ to create, but that the army was ‘making great strides to actually have a cyber-training capability that is meaningful, challenging and something we can adapt over time’.
Another branch initiative highlighted at I/ITSEC 2023 was the synthetic training environment (STE), which has been engineered to provide a collective, multi-echelon training and mission-rehearsal capability for the operational, institutional and self-development training domains.
The solution has brought together live, virtual and constructive training scenarios into a single STE in order to provide training to ground, dismounted and aerial platforms, and command posts at points of need.
The STE will interact with and augment live training, as well as train all warfighting functions and the human dimension across all echelons of the force.
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