On the 3rd of June, 2015 The Sir Richard Williams Foundation held its second seminar for 2015, titled “Training for an Integrated ADF – Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC)”.
The Sir Richard Williams Foundation | Canberra
Defence community members gathered to discuss the current and future state of joint collective training and the advancement of LVC. The seminar highlighted the relevant authorities responsible for facilitating LVC collective training and what systems and platforms were being used and provided by industry to help support this capability.
The theme of the day was interoperability and how government, different branches of the ADF and industry need to work together in order to operate in an increasingly complex and evolving environment to maximise fifth generation technology opportunities.
Chief of Joint Operations Command Vice Admiral David Johnston spoke about the current state of LVC, highlighting that “from a joint perspective… we need to be in the future” as most of the LVC efforts are focused on individual and team training on the tactical level. The use of LVC is exercising high-end capabilities, routinely, is currently expensive and complex to implement.
The ADF and joint operational command is increasingly able to integrate their simulators; this is done through the Defence Training and Experimentation Network (DTEN).
The ADF needs to be collectively prepared for a broad spectrum of operations, which need to be supported through the conduct of timely, realistic and relevant training. JP3035 Phase 2 is an example of how Joint Operations Command (JOC) is moving towards where they envision the future of LVC is. JP3035 will provide more effective and efficient collective training, through the support of the Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre (ADSTC).
It will facilitate a persistent and distributed core simulation capability through the acquisition of services and products, collectively referred to as the Defence Synthetic Environment (DSE). The Chief of Joint Operations sees that collective training methods must be made better aligned with strategic direction and single service activities.
Head of Joint Capability Command Rear Admiral Peter Quinn discussed the necessity of utilising LVC in the joint space, highlighting that “simulation in its many forms needs to be central in the way we design, build, train and employ the joint force”. While this vision was partially realised in 2002, the goal of seeking a joint task force in the ADF was lost between 2002 and 2006 due to funding cuts.
RADM Quinn stated that the ADF is once again gaining traction with regard to simulation, and it has been recognised as being a future priority across the ADF. This is evident in the forward-looking goals of Plans Jericho, Pelorus and Beersheba.
"Current acquisition and sustainment models of LVC need to be addressed with industry partnerships well above the project level."
With regard to the Australian Joint Operation Concept (FJOC), which is currently under development, the focus is on the objective future of the ADF for the next seven years. This concept will provide a warfighting narrative on how we will train and fight as a collective force and will highlight the necessary requirements for the future operating environment. The FJOC will inform future capability needs over the next 7-30 years and will ensure interoperability in the ADF using an alternative-futures approach. Joint experimentation is necessary to develop these concepts, including wargaming exercises.
RADM Quinn stated that simulation will not feature in the objective future as much as he would like, due primarily to time constraints and the necessity to further develop the simulation environment. This joint concept work will highlight the necessity of simulation in the ADF to ensure interoperability and integration as part of the vision for the joint force in the future.
Then head of CDG’s Capability Systems Air Marshal Mel Hupfield spoke about integrating modelling and simulations (M&S) into the capability life cycle. CDG is looking at the viability of having a dedicated M&S function that would seek to improve both knowledge and the requirements of any complex system or problem regarding LVC training.
Much of the CDG’s LVC efforts were very labour intensive, time consuming and reliant on expert knowledge. CDG provided JP 2008 as an example of where the organisation used a modelling and decision support tool that will support the ADF with satellite technology to support the data and communication needs of developing future LVC capabilities.
AVM Hupfield concludes that exploiting the growing Australian Defence simulation expertise will help to enhance ADF capability developments. He also noted that modelling and simulation support is growing but is not mature in its current state and needs continuing attention.
Commodore Phillip Spedding and Group Captain Bernie Grealy from the ADSTC talked about the roles and outputs of the ADSTC and examined the concept of LVC in the ADF. The role and vision of the ADSTC is to provide a mature systems centre that streamlines and coordinates the DSE governance, development and delivery to provide greater effectiveness in supporting joint, collective and individual training across the entire ADF.
This goal is tied with JP3035 and includes the management and architecture of the DSE. The ADSTC seeks to provide DMT that is linked, interoperable and allows personnel to train as they would expect to fight.
CDRE Spedding provided an analysis of the LVC training continuum, determining the role that LVC can play in the ADF. This highlighted the necessary role of LVC in every stage of the continuum. In essence, high fidelity training tends to be expensive, including simulations that use visuals, sensory, tactile and auditory fidelity. Given that they are expensive, they are less likely to be used by the ADF on a regular basis.
It was also determined that if an exercise is done frequently, the size and complexity of the training increases. GPCAPT Grealy went on to describe the intricacies of the synthetic training model and applied the model to the LVC training continuum. The main output of the ADSTC is a Distributed Integrated Synthetic Training Environment which bundles services to meet the requirements of a specific training exercise, supporting the needs of an integrated ADF training continuum.
"The Australian Army will be unlikely to achieve superiority through size and platform superiority due to existing constraints."
Army and LVC
Head of Army Modernisation Major General Gus McLachlan stated that while “we have come a long way, we do have some way to go” and was frank in stating that the goals of the Australian Army are aspirational, requiring realistic self-imposed constraints to achieve an integrated defence force.
The Australian Army will be unlikely to achieve superiority through size and platform superiority due to existing constraints. Decision superiority and human performance advantage are more realistic goals for Army personnel insofar as Australia already has significant advantages in these spaces that could be furthered through the integration of LVC, both in a single service and joint environment.
This is reliant on linking networks between the ADF to better our training capabilities. The Army is currently at the end of 1st generation implementation of simulation systems, though these are stand-alone propriety systems that cannot be linked. The Army is currently in the process of building a “lego wall” to integrate these systems into a collective training process, though much work is still left to do.
In the future LVC environment Army personnel should be trained to the highest standard that renders them efficient and effective, rather than just training efficiencies.
Army’s priority will be using LVC to maximise the potential of humans in the system and improve their decision-making capabilities. MAJGEN McLachlan stated that Defence Industry will be vital to this process in building an integrated and agreed architecture for LVC that can be coordinated to build joint capabilities as in Joint Project 3035.
Using LVC operational simulations will include decision-making, resilience, ethical behaviour and rules of engagement to improve human performance aspects.
There are a variety of drivers for utilising simulation within RAN, according to Commodore Andrew Gough. These drivers include the costly nature of live training; increasingly complex ship-fitted systems that make replication for training difficult without the use of simulation; and an increasing demand for discretion.
Through the use of LVC, CDRE Gough highlighted that simulation can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of training by reducing the time and money spent on live exercises, reducing the risk that it can pose to Navy personnel, and by creating a planned and standardised training schema that does not rely on on-the-job training.
LVC will eliminate potential “choke points” that can impact individual training and provides more “complex, realistic and repeatable training events”.
Through Plan Pelorus, the RAN will utilise simulation to provide effective and efficient training. The Plan is reliant on building relations with Defence Industry to ensure that the future LVC environment allows for individual and collective training both at sea and ashore, reduces the reliance on at-sea training to achieve qualifications and ensures of warfighting capabilities are practiced.
LVC and Plan Jericho
Air Commodore Mike Kitcher discussed LVC in light of RAAF’s Plan Jericho. The Plan highlights the significance of having an agile, adaptive and truly joint Air Force, factors that can be assisted by LVC. AIRCDRE Kitcher saidd that LVC needs to be functioning better in the ADF within the next 10 years or Australia will fall behind in defence capabilities in the region.
"Ultimately the potential for LVC to establish an integrated ADF in the future is huge."
AIRCDRE Kitcher also notes that there are real security issues that must be addressed when implementing LVC, including the integration of the F-35 into the broader LVC environment, which is bound by security challenges. These security challenges cannot be simply wished away in any domain. Despite this, ultimately the potential for LVC to establish an integrated ADF in the future is huge.
Mark Philips, Lockheed Martin’s chief architect of LVC environments highlighted the need for services and government to create the specifications and methods for LVC to work across different platforms so industry can adequately support their capability requirements.
Lockheed Martin is providing a representation of everything in the real world as a template in the synthetic world. Integrating a large array of platform simulators within a DMT environment is complex.
Standards, protocol and the wireless links between platforms within LVC needs to be developed, maintained and led by Government and not by industry.
Current acquisition and sustainment models of LVC need to be addressed with industry partnerships well above the project level.
Philips highlighted the importance of the ADF and its service personnel to list the requirements needed for the training systems provided to them. Some considerations included in utilising LVC include interoperability between platforms, network design, and the security requirements concerned with these networks.
Yoel Link of Elbit Systems focused on the technology and platforms that Elbit has produced and is currently developing that concentrated on interoperability. Elbit Systems is involved in the integration of LVC platforms with FA/18’s in the US Air Force with land based assets and Typhoon trainers in the UK to work with both land and maritime assets. Link stated that focus of the products developed for LVC, was “mission orientated training”.
Technology such as the Targo Helmeted Mounted System provide an augmented reality environment within a pilots helmet HUD to be used on live training missions.
In addition to the various products discussed, one of the most notable examples of LVC platforms was the mission training centre. This facility was designed to create an immersive simulator that can reduce the cost of having to use live mission training.
Industry and ADSTC
Calytrix president Shawn Parr provided a technology perspective on their work with the ADSTC and more broadly the ADF. Calytrix provides software and network solutions to support a growing LVC capability. Parr’s opinion was that services needed to “understand [their] training needs first, the technology will follow”. He also stated that the ADSTC is a “world leading capability” that we need to develop our understanding of to understand how to use it to its full advantage.
Parr’s discussion of the Virtual Machine Layer provided an insight into the system in which Calytrix provides networks, data services and applications (communications MIS services) that are involved in the complexity of running LVC platforms. One of the major challenges was the sheer number of systems and standards that services wanted to connect together.
Calytrix sees that there are two complimentary ways forward in the future of LVC: simplify and codify, by solving issues related to standards across different simulator context and scenarios and to create LVC to be accessible, on demand, and cost effective; and refresh our standards, by unifying them in a common simulation environment.
The seminar highlighted that the interoperability of Army, Navy and the Air Force is central to Australia’s defence, in an environment that is ever-changing and increasingly complex. Yet this interoperability is not yet being serviced in a coherent way with the range of LVC assets in place and those on the horizon. The realistic representation of live entities within virtual and constructed training environments will be essential to ensuring the readiness of the ADF in meeting the challenges of the changing defence landscape.
While LVC has inherent technological complexities that make its implementation and understanding difficult in some cases, this seminar highlighted that it is achievable and can afford great benefits with the help of Defence Industry as well as top down design and bottom up innovation. It is essential that the discussion and development of LVC and associated interoperability issues continues, helping to shape the future training and conduct of the ADF.
ADM Editor Katherine Ziesing is a Williams Foundation board member and chaired the LVC seminar for the foundation. A full copy of the report is available for download at the Williams website.