MENLO PARK, Calif., 22 August 2005. Prime contractor SRI International, in partnership with the defense segment of Cubic Corp., joined the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau in pioneering the eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC), a new concept in pre-deployment battlefield training, during a major exercise conducted June 15 to July 7 at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center near Greenville, Ky.
XCTC is a cost-efficient option for delivering effective combat readiness training to National Guard and Army Reserve units at their home station locations when time and money are limited.
SRI provided advanced training technologies including GPS instrumentation that recorded positions of all military vehicles, soldiers and civilians on the battlefield and two-dimensional and three-dimensional displays that allowed full replays of each training event.
Under a subcontract, Cubic provided realistic battlefield effects including pyrotechnics, role players, civilians on the battlefield and close-up video recorded during mock encounters between U.S. forces and insurgents.
The Kentucky National Guard's infantry training included scenarios replicating the contemporary operating environment in Iraq or Afghanistan, including ambushes, and cordon and search missions.
Approximately 500 members of the Kentucky Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry, participated in the exercises. As many as three additional exercises are planned for 2006.
A mobile command and After Action Review (AAR) trailer from SRI's Deployable Force-on-Force Instrumented Range System (DFIRST) served as the "nerve center" for XCTC. The center's computers and digital communications displayed real-time data throughout the exercise recording position location for the soldiers, combat vehicles and civilians on the battlefield. Approximately 70 combat and combat support vehicles, and 300 soldiers and civilians, were equipped with DFIRST and IGRS (Integrated GPS Radio System) instrumentation units.
SRI also employed technology developed by the Joint Training Experimental Program (JTEP), which included a simulated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that flies over the "battlefield." The UAV provided intelligence data on enemy forces, and software that converts two-dimensional electronic images into three-dimensional views of encounters between friendly and opposition forces.
"This exercise demonstrates that it is possible to deliver a similar training experience to what active-duty personnel receive at Combat Training Centers (CTCs) -- anywhere, anytime, and at a reasonable cost," said John Prausa, vice president of SRI's Engineering & Systems Division.
Cubic provided experts in scenario development, role players, battlefield effects specialists, training analysts and a video crew. A core team of 15 experienced Cubic employees was augmented by approximately 130 part-time employees hired from the local community to portray civilians on the battlefield.
Cubic has enhanced U.S. Army training through its contracts at key training sites such as the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., and in key programs at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Cubic's training specialists are experts at replicating the contemporary operational environment U.S. forces experience while fighting today's war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Our guiding principle was to 'Make Every Training Day Count' by providing turnkey, on-demand training services, including the design of scalable scenarios that enable National Guard and Reserve units to make maximum use of limited training time and dollars," said Rick Hollar, director of Operations Support Group for Cubic's Training Services Division.
National Guard leaders also responded enthusiastically to the XCTC demonstration. Commenting on the value of this new approach, Col. Ernie Audino, chief of the Training Division at the Army National Guard Bureau (ARNG) in Washington, D.C. said, "Our objective was to develop a home-station, fully instrumented, battalion field training exercise to replicate as nearly as possible the combat conditions experienced by our soldiers fighting in the contemporary operating environment. The intent is to produce validated company proficiency in all ARNG combat units prior to their mobilization. This will reduce the post mobilization time required to train the units to fight as components of larger, brigade operations."
Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. Founded as Stanford Research Institute in 1946, SRI has been meeting the strategic needs of clients for nearly 60 years. The nonprofit research institute performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and nonprofit foundations. In addition to conducting contract R&D, SRI licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships and creates spin-off companies. For more information, see www.sri.com.
The Cubic Training Services Division is part of the mission support business unit of Cubic Defense Applications. The Cubic Defense Applications group, one of Cubic Corp.'s two major segments, is a leader in realistic combat training systems, mission support services and defense electronics. The corporation's other major segment, Cubic Transportation Systems, designs and manufactures automatic fare collection systems for public mass transit authorities. For more information, see www.cubic.com.