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TRAINING AND SIMULATION UPDATE

Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems

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06 Aug 19. True-to-life training, key to officer readiness. It’s all over the news. Riots in the streets and increased tensions with police shootings. Conversations about use-of-force are in the limelight, and law enforcement departments are being scrutinized about training officers for such scenarios. The limited availability of range time, the expense of range facility maintenance, the cost of live ammunition, and a technological evolution in available training have forced agencies to examine simulation training becomes as a more practical and cost-effective option. Training within a simulated environment allows an officer to immerse themselves into a true-to-life scenario that reproduces the same stress they would encounter on the streets. Ultimately this makes officers more effective and better prepared the next time they find themselves in an escalated event.

Today’s intelligent systems

As law enforcement training grows in importance, its key that a comprehensive training curriculum is in place, integrating marksmanship training and judgmental training scenarios. Today’s intelligent simulation systems are designed to provide real-time data for after-action reporting on how the shooter performed. The system recognizes officer presence, verbal commands, empty-handed techniques, as well as use of baton, chemical spray, TASER® and deadly force.

Along with an effective trainer, today’s training technology can escalate or de-escalate a training scenario based on the pre-determined lesson plan of the instructor and how the student is actually engaging the scenario. These responses, similar to shooting at a target and seeing where the bullet hits, can be seen in replay. But in simulation training it’s not as much about how students reacted, it’s about why they responded in the manner they did and their ability to explain their decisions.

“Today’s virtual training systems are about recreating an environment where an officer is forced to make the same split-second decisions in a non-lethal training environment that they may have to make in a potentially lethal or escalated situation out in the field,” said Matt Cunningham, Director of Virtual Systems at Meggitt Training Systems.

“What’s critical with these systems or tools is that they are used to their full potential for both marksmanship and judgmental training, and are integrated into a full training curriculum,” Cunningham added.

Training to its fullest potential

Meggitt Training Systems’ FATS® 100P provides marksmanship exercises, weapons handling, remediation and preparation between qualifications, along with judgmental and use-of-force training. Using the marksmanship mode, the shooter runs through a pre-determined course of fire on various static or moving imagery depending upon the training curriculum of the department.

Cunningham strongly encourages departments to use their system to its fullest potential. “From a weapons handling perspective, you are not expending rounds; it’s a teaching tool. You can explain and then immediately train the officer on the basic fundamentals of shooting. The officers can see their shots in real-time. They can see how they are handling and firing their weapon as well as muzzle location and other critical elements for proper shooting fundamentals. With the assistance of an instructor, all of the information that the FATS® 100P and the weapon provides helps shooters self- diagnose and not expend several hundred rounds trying to figure out what they are doing wrong.”

Numerous law enforcement and security agencies use Meggitt’s wireless BlueFire® weapons with their system. Manufactured by Meggitt Training Systems, “These weapons are actual weapons purchased from the gun manufacturer and then are stripped of their firing components and replaced with electronics that provide real-time data back to the shooter and instructor through the system,” Cunningham said. “The BlueFire weapons are critical to true-to-life training. It doesn’t’ make sense for officers to train with plastic weapons or with magazines that have limitless rounds when that is not the reality out in the field. This leads to negative training.”

Since they are actual weapons, they are true to the form, fit and function of the duty weapons the officer’s use in the field. The weapons weigh the same, and all the components (such as the safety and trigger) are in the exact same position as they are on their duty weapon. Realistic training is essential to preparedness when officers face hostile situations in the field.

In addition to the real-time data provided by the BlueFire weapons, one of the primary benefits of these wireless weapons is the ability for officers to move freely within the training space and still send and receive feedback on the shooter. For departments using a tethered weapon, they are connected by a cable that sends data to and from the weapon, but restricts movement to a fixed location and distance. Both weapon systems have their advantages, but most agencies are moving to the wireless technology.

How it works

Many departments use virtual systems for both marksmanship and judgmental use-of-force training.

The system gives the trainer the ability to induce stress and see how the officer interacts with participants within the video scenario. Depending on how the officer engages the suspect, the trainer can manipulate the situation by escalating or de-escalating the situation.

The trainer controls the scenario by reacting to the officer’s commands. If the officer reacts appropriately, the officer can choose to select a “branch” where the assailant complies. Or the trainer could choose to see how the officer would react to a use-of-force situation and select a branch where the officer needs to engage with a variety of tools, including TASER, chemical spray and a baton.

The FATS® 100P comes with a library of scenarios ranging from traffic stops to active shooters. The scenarios are filmed from the officer’s perspective. When the scenarios are filmed, all possible outcomes or reactions also are filmed. These “branches” provide a multitude of options for a trainer to test the officer’s marksmanship and judgmental skills.

Simulation systems can aid in officer preparedness, de-escalating a situation, and ensuring proper use-of-force. The rapid-response required in virtual simulation scenarios serve the officers well, providing heightened readiness in stressful situations.

08 Aug 19. US Air Force seeks information on T-38A virtual reality flight simulator. The US Air Force (USAF) seeks information from industry on the possibility of a Northrop T-38A Talon advanced jet trainer virtual reality (VR) flight simulator with full cockpit integration. The USAF has four line items for this effort, according to a 5 August request for information (RFI) posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website: cockpit tub, including all functional hardware; VR system; computer hardware; and T-38A model licence. The USAF did not return a request for comment prior to publication. The T-38A is the original variant of the T-38 Talon family and became operational on 17 March 1961, according to Jane’s Aircraft Upgrades. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 Aug 19. USAF F-35A goes from factory to flight in five hours. The US Air Force’s (USAF) 388th Fighter Wing’s (FW) 68th F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter has performed its first combat training mission, shortly after its delivery. The F-35A arrived at Hill Air Force Base (AFB) from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, production facility and took off for the first sortie in a record time of less than five hours after delivery. 388th Maintenance Group commander colonel Michael Miles stated that the sortie showcased the ability to quickly deploy F-35As directly from the factory into combat if a combat situation demands such a move.

Miles said: “The F-35A program’s production and delivery plan was designed to allow rapid aircraft induction and quick use by the customers. We’ve shown the enterprise it’s possible.”

An F-35A after coming off the production-line requires several test flights before the USAF accepts the fighter.

The data points from the tests flights are passed on to the gaining unit, in this case the 388th FW.

388th Maintenance Group chief enlisted manager chief master sergeant, Trey Munn, noted that the process and system improvements in the data collection and transfer process will expedite the induction of aircraft.

Munn said: “We’ve been working toward this goal as the program has matured and this is great step, and a testament to the work of the folks at Lockheed Martin, the Joint Program Office, and the Airmen in the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings.”

The first operational Lockheed Martin-built F-35A combat jets touched down at Hill AFB in October 2015.

The airbase is expected to receive further aircraft, taking the total count to 78 F-35s by the end of this year. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

07 Aug 19. Cubic Signs MOA with Battlespace Simulations Inc. for Enhanced Live, Virtual and Constructive Training Simulations. Partnership to offer most realistic air and ground threat environment to warfighters.

Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) today announced that its Cubic Global Defense (CGD) business division and Battlespace Simulations Inc. (BSI), signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to jointly work on developing solutions for the Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) training market. BSI is a leader in the simulation of threat environments and tools to create Computer Generated Forces.

Under the agreement, the parties will integrate BSI’s Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) into CGD’s air and ground training offerings to meet the increasing demand for operators to train in realistic and complex battlespace environments. MACE will provide multi-domain computer-generated forces, including simulation of weapon guidance and flyouts; fifth-generation blue and red weapons systems; and physics-based representations of the electromagnetic spectrum.

“Today, in the live domain, it’s nearly impossible to train in a representative threat environment similar to what a near-peer scenario would look like,” said Jonas Furukrona, vice president of Air Training Solutions, CGD. “Having BSI’s market-leading solutions integrated as part of our new LVC products across CGD brings significant benefit to our customers to train in a multi-domain environment with advanced sensors and threats that will effectively sharpen Tactics, Techniques and Procedures.”

“We are beyond excited at this opportunity to combine BSI’s expertise in generating virtual and constructive players and contested battlespaces with Cubic’s live training expertise. It’s a natural fit and I’m confident, that together, we can dramatically improve warfighter training,” said Gary DeYoung, president and chief executive officer of BSI.

In addition to MACE, the companies are also looking at other potential areas of collaboration around communications and training architectures. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

08 Aug 19. RAAF undergoes advanced synthetic training. CAE has announced it has supported the Royal Australian Air Force in the trial and implementation of advanced synthetic training capabilities as part of the Introductory Fighter Course (IFC) at RAAF Base Williamtown. The first class of pilots taking their IFC, leveraging an increased use of synthetic training, including networked simulators, have recently graduated and are now proceeding to training on their assigned fast-jet aircraft. The class utilised the two CAE-built Hawk Mk127 full-mission simulators at RAAF Williamtown to undergo new virtual training scenarios focused on a range of advanced mission profiles, including air combat manoeuvring and multi-jet intercept.

In addition to enhancing the operating performance of constructive computer-generated forces within the training scenarios, CAE added realism to the advanced final stages of lead-in fighter training by networking the two FMSs, thus allowing multiple students and instructors to fly the same mission or fly against each other.

For its support in developing and implementing the enhancements to the IFC, CAE Australia received a certificate of appreciation from Air Vice-Marshal Catherine Roberts, Head of the Aerospace Systems Division, RAAF.

“CAE developed new lesson plans and mission scenarios to accurately simulate elements of the Introductory Fighter Course traditionally conducted in airborne events,” said AVM Roberts.

“Maximum training benefit was delivered by supporting our 76 Squadron flying instructors in the use of the new mission profiles, and CAE’s efforts have been outstanding in supporting the Lead-In Fighter Training enterprise for the RAAF.”

During the latest IFC, use of the two Hawk Mk127 FMSs more than doubled compared with previous courses. RAAF and CAE instructors delivered the simulator training after rapid development of the new mission training scenarios.

“The enhanced Introductory Fighter Course is a great example of how a government-industry relationship should work to deliver value and capability,” said Ian Bell, CAE’s vice president and general manager, Asia/Pacific/Middle East.

“We are honoured to be part of the integrated team supporting the RAAF’s lead-in fighter training program at both RAAF Williamtown and RAAF Pearce, and privileged to play a role in helping prepare its next-generation fighter pilots.” (Source: Defence Connect)

08 Aug 19. BAE’s Tamworth flight training business achieves milestone. BAE Systems Australia’s Tamworth-based flight training business has notched up over 280,000 hours in the air, helping the next generation of Australian Defence Force pilots earn their wings.

The milestone has come after almost three decades of training, and is “underpinned by the dedication of pilots who have spent thousands of hours in the air over regional New South Wales”.

Two such pilots are BAE Systems flight training instructor pilots Charlie Meyers and Gary Thomas, who have achieved 10,000 hours as military flight instructors in the company’s Pacific Aviation Corporation CT4B aircraft.

BAE Systems Australia managing director defence delivery Andrew Gresham said, “The Tamworth team has achieved an extraordinary milestone in almost 30 years of preparing pilots for the Australian Defence Force and other customers. The commitment and passion of the team is recognised throughout our business and by our customers.”

BAE Systems will continue to provide essential training services in support of military training at Tamworth until mid 2020. Since 1993, nearly 2,300 student pilots and more than 4,000 flight screening students have trained at the facility, using CT-4B aircraft. (Source: Defence Connect)

05 Aug 19. USS New York and USS Oak Hill complete live-fire exercise. The US Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) and Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) have completed a live-fire exercise. USS New York conducted the live-fire missile training in preparation for its upcoming deployment with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group. During the exercise, LPD 21 fired missiles at a drone using its self-defence Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system. USS Oak Hill is also part of the amphibious ready group.

USS New York Fire Controlman Chief Christopher Campbell said: “We are doing this exercise to verify full operation of our kill chain for our RAM system.

“The weekly overall combat system operability tests and RAM’s daily system tests assess every part of the kill chain except the actual launch of the missile. This is our opportunity to ensure that the missile will launch prior to deployment.”

Warships assigned to the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group are taking part in the Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Virginia.

The exercise is intended to maintain readiness, proficiency and lethality.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Austin Jones said: “Preparation for this exercise started a month or longer before we even loaded the missiles.

“All the fire controlmen have accomplished more than 150 man-hours of maintenance in preparation for this shoot. The exercise was a way to show how effective training in the combat systems department has been and how prepared the New York is to use the RAM system on board.”

In addition to the fire controlman, the exercise involved combat watchstanders and bridge watch teams, Jones added.

Last year, USS New York completed a six-month deployment as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).

The group was deployed in support of a maritime and theatre security operation in the US 6th Fleet area of operations.  (Source: naval-technology.com)

02 Aug 19. US Navy tests TRACER augmented reality combat training platform. The US Navy has tested a platform based on augmented reality (AR) that is designed to significantly improve combat training. The platform is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global TechSolutions. Sailors tested the tactically reconfigurable artificial combat enhanced reality (TRACER) project at the Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR) Detachment Chesapeake, on Naval Support Activity Northwest Annex in Currituck County, North Carolina.

Other government partners in the project include the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren and the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.

Industry partners who contributed to the development of TRACER include Magic Leap Horizons and Haptech.

Key components of the TRACER system include the Magic Leap One AR headset, a backpack processor, and Haptech’s instrumented weapon, which is capable of delivering realistic recoil.

The system uses software developed by Magic Leap Horizons as part of the US Army’s Augmented Reality Dismounted Soldier Training (ARDST) project.

This will provide advanced weapons tracking capability. Trainers using the system will also be able to create simulation scenarios for security personnel.

TRACER project lead Dr Patrick Mead said: “Our training system is built mostly from commercial-off-the-shelf products, so we are using widely available gaming gear.

“All of these technologies combine together to give us extremely accurate weapon and movement tracking capabilities, as well as highly immersive simulation visual, auditory and haptic (relating to the sense of touch) feedback.

“Ultimately, TRACER provides sailors with dynamic, engaging and less predictable training scenarios that would otherwise be too costly or time-consuming to create in the real world.”

The CENSECFOR is involved in delivering training in US Navy security force fundamentals, code of conduct, anti-terrorism, and expeditionary warfare.

CENSECFOR training innovation director commander Kim Littel said: “We can integrate this AR virtual training environment into our existing curriculum, and it allows us to be very reconfigurable.

“We can go in and we can change the scenarios, or we can change the opposition forces and the threat that they pose.”

Littel stated that TRACER will provide the ability to conduct training ‘almost anywhere, anytime’.

The technology will also help address space restrictions experienced during training operations on a ship, Littel added. (Source: naval-technology.com)

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Meggitt Training Systems, makers of FATS® and Caswell technologies, a division of Meggitt PLC, is the leading supplier of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems. Meggitt Training Systems continues to grow its capabilities based on the legacy of these two industry leaders.

Over 13,600 Meggitt live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems are fielded internationally, providing judgmental, situational awareness and marksmanship training to the armed forces, law enforcement and security organizations. Meggitt Training Systems employs more than 400 people at its headquarters in Atlanta and at facilities in Orlando, Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, UAE, Australia and Singapore. It can deploy service personnel anywhere in the world for instructor training, system installation and maintenance. Learn more at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/.

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