3. Future Training and Research Requirements
Training R&D priorities are driven by future training requirements. These requirements are based on changing roles and missions of the force projection Army, technological opportunities, the need to maintain training effectiveness at reduced costs, and the complexity and lethality of the battlefield. Future training requirements are listed below along with related technologies on which additional research is needed.
TRD01: Provide accessible, cost-effective training that is environmentally sensitive, safe, versatile and realistic. Numerous factors including environmental concerns, reduced range and exercise areas, and pressure to trim OPTEMPO and ammunition budgets continue to propel the Army toward a device-based training strategy. This type of strategy employs a training-effective and cost-effective mix of Training Aids, Devices, Simulations and Simulators (TADSS), and other training methods to accomplish individual and collective performance goals. It is important that the use of these strategies, as well as the individual TADSS, be based on empirical data as to their effectiveness. Key criteria for an effective TADSS training strategy include: the minimum essential realism to ensure training transfer to job performance; use across a wide spectrum of rapidly changing contingency missions and associated training needs; and ready availability to enable soldiers to train individually or collectively when and where they need. The further development of advanced simulation technologies paves the way toward a device-based strategy that meets the above criteria. Specific technologies that require additional research are:
(1) Knowledge of TADSS Fidelity Requirements. Research should address enabling technologies, methods, and models for determining fidelity requirements for a given TADSS (including synthetic environment/virtual reality applications). Typically, increasing fidelity requirements results in increased acquisition costs for TADSS. Yet, increased fidelity itself does not necessarily guarantee better transfer of training. Only those cues and responses essential to learning the task must be simulated. R&D is needed to identify which features of a simulated/synthetic environment (perceptual cues) are essential to optimize training transfer. Efficient methods for the measurement of fidelity requirements also must be developed. Eventually, research findings in this area need to be consolidated into design principles/standards for creating TADSS with the minimum essential degree of realism.
(2) Virtual Reality (VR). VR technology offers tremendous potential paybacks and savings to the Army. We are on the threshold of VR technology and can see the application to combat developments and training. VR offers combat simulators the capability of integrating complete crew training for a combat weapon system. This dynamic technology, for example, could also provide for inexpensive driver training of Army vehicles. The technology is easily transported and can provide opportunities for training to be conducted on board ships with deployed forces or contingency mission training. VR research should focus on a generated generic synthetic environment and a technology to portal into an existing synthetic environment.
(3) Dynamic Synthetic Environment. Dynamic synthetic environments with realistic atmospheric effects, terrain features, and dynamic virtual objects will bring realism to the world of simulation and the synthetic battlefield. Emphasis must be placed on developing low cost, high fidelity computer-generated imagery that is consistent with human visual capabilities. A methodology needs to be developed that will allow an efficient way of dynamically changing the terrain elevation to produce craters, fox- holes, and engineering obstacles. These features should then become part of the terrain database and affect both mobility and visual rendering of the terrain to the combat simulation. Sufficiently applying this capability to cultural features such as buildings, bridges, and other structures will maximize the training transfer in mission rehearsal and training exercises. Development of an algorithm for object characteristics such as structural material is required to produce natural effects when an object is impacted by a specific combat system. When the synthetic world can display in various terrain environments what a human would see in a real world environment, the training realism is increased. Conducting terrain analysis, performing mission rehearsal, and battlefield planning, etc., would benefit from this technology.
(4) Embedded Training (ET). ET is a capability designed into or added onto hardware and software systems that enables it to provide the cues necessary to train individuals, crews, and units. Look for technology to train individual/ crew gunnery and driver tasks. Expand focus on development of ET technology to light forces. With the advent of the digital battlefield, ET technology needs to include ways to train battle command using operational hardware versus standalone simulations. Use of ET technology with VR technology to train collective tasks offers potential savings in the development of simulations. Research should also address how to reduce the impact of ET technologies on hardware/software system reliability.
(5) Live Simulation Instrumentation Technology. This technology will provide the capability to determine and transmit in real-time a player location and weapon systems attitude for man pack and vehicular-based systems. This technology could then be integrated into a simulated synthetic environment which would include constructive, virtual, and live environments.
TRD02: Train leadership skills appropriate for any event along the range of military operations. Today and in the foreseeable future Commanders face a formidable leadership challengehow can Commanders lead effectively on the high technology, joint, combined, and interagency battlefield to accomplish a wide variety of disparate missions? There are a number of interrelated and complex training and performance support requirements that must be met to answer this challenge. For example, research is needed to determine how to train Commanders better at locations other than the CTCs (e.g., home station) on a wide variety of scenarios so that Commanders can practice decision making skills prior to using them on the battlefield or at CTCs. Also, effective command and control decision making can be hampered by the rapid and continual influx of information if there is no capability to identify and pay attention to that information most important for the commander to know. R&D is needed to improve a Commander's situational awareness and after action review capability without creating information overload. Research in this latter area, aimed at improving ways of collecting and disseminating battlefield information to battle staffs, may well translate into applications for both training and the operational environment. Technologies requiring additional research include:
(1) Knowledge of complex decision making. Although some research is ongoing in this area, more research is needed to understand fully what constitutes good command decision making; the kinds of decision errors commanders make in particular situations (e.g., under varying degrees of combat stress); the primary causes of errors; and how, when, and where commanders should be trained and provided performance aids to prevent decision errors. The influences on decision making by interactions between and among battle staff members and other aspects of group dynamics is also worthy of further investigation. More advanced research is needed to apply what is known about complex decision making to the development of training and performance aids for commanders and battle staffs and to evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches in terms of training transfer and performance enhancement on the battlefield.
(2) Voice recognition. Advancements in voice recognition technology are necessary to support commanders in battle/training environments, enhance language training (i.e., interrogators, special forces), and serve as an input/output interface for performance support aids. Technologies must be developed that enable commanders to interact with computers to request displays of units, tactical formations (enemy/friendly), terrain, or battle plans in order to oversee the actual or synthetic battlefield. Technologies also need to be developed allowing voice communication in English with a computer that contains foreign language databases and is capable of language translation, language training, and supports interrogation of POWs.
TRD03: Prepare leaders and soldiers to be adaptable and innovative. A smaller Army and the anticipated consolidation of many military occupational specialties will place greater demands on each soldier. Innovation and adaptation to a variety of missions is enhanced if the soldier is freed from performing many procedural tasks or problem solving tasks from learned material. Research and development is needed into technologies that enable the individual to access critical information to support performance. Performance support aids can range from embedding decision functions into systems to developing portable devices such as a maintenance aid that guides a mechanic through troubleshooting and repair procedures. Progress is being made in this area but there are a variety of avenues of research to pursue. Some key research areas are:
(1) Artificially intelligent/expert system performance aids. There is a need for R&D into performance support aids that capitalize on artificial intelligence and expert system technology. Research is ongoing but practical, affordable applications are scarce. To bring this technology to maturity, further exploration may be worthwhile in areas such as: methods to adapt system to user's cognitive style and present knowledge base; efficient methodologies to construct knowledge domains; and design and evaluation criteria. Artificial intelligence and expert system technologies have application potential as training tools, performance support aids, and dual-use applicability in private sector industry and education.
(2) Helmet mounted/helmet visor display system. A mechanism, such as a helmet mounted device, is needed to bring information to individuals for purposes such as a commander's situational awareness or an operators procedural I guidance in required tasks. R&D is needed to improve physical attributes such as resolution, color reproduction, graphic representation, fusion of multiple sensors, non-interference with other elements of the crew station, etc. More importantly, research is needed to determine where and under what circumstances such devices will enhance performance, whether performance will be degraded or, at best, remain unchanged. The effects of stress, noise platform motion, and other hostile environmental factors while employing such devices must be accounted for, to effectively invest I devices of this nature for training of the battlefield.
(3) Electronic performance support systems. It is likely that the Army, like private industry, will move more away from formal schooling toward the use of electronic performance support systems (EPSS) on the job. R&D is needed to explore the high payoff occupational specialty areas for the development of EPSS, to determine their applicability to Army performance oriented training, and to explore the use of networks (LANs and WANs) for meeting performance support requirements.
TRD04: Train for contingency missions. One consequence of the shift from a threat-based Army to a capabilities-based Army is the need for a flexible and responsive training system to meet various demands. Core competencies trained in schoolhouses and units need to be augmented by "just-in-time" training packages tailored to provide training for the immediate contingency. Diminishing training personnel resources and the increasing need for rapidly designed, developed, and implemented training packages requires innovative methods and tools. Technological advances in the Army's training development system may have important spin-off applications for the nation's education system.
(1) Unit training strategies. For the foreseeable future, Army units will have to be able to train on core combat competencies on a regular basis and be able to supplement those on short notice when likely contingency missions are identified and assigned. This will have to be done in an environment that is increasingly dependent on simulations and other non-OPTEMP consuming training alternatives. Research data is needed to support units in designing effective training strategies using available training resources, time, and personnel, as missions and resource constraints change. This requires information on the effectiveness of TADSS, home-station training, training management systems, and prototype alternative training strategies linked to training time available.
(2) Training design and development and implementation for contingency missions. Training developers need the ability to rapidly develop and configure training for a variety of media that can be exported to geographically dispersed reserve and active components in CONUS, used during pre-mobilization in units, or transported to a theater of operations for immediate use as sustainment or enhancement training. To accomplish this, R&D is needed in media capabilities, expert training development systems, and the potential of linking training developers across services to facilitate joint training design and development. R&D is also needed to explore the application of distance learning technologies to implementation of "just-in-time" training. Possible R&D topics include the development of portable devices for distance learning (e.g., hand held devices for computer-based training and communications linkages and infrastructure requirements to support distance learning at remote sites both mobile and stationary. A related issue in need of R&D is the use of CD-ROM technology for "just-in-time" training and performance support in the unit. R&D is needed to determine how to design and present materials in ways that are optimal for learning and what training development tools are needed to produce cost effective CD-ROM based "just-in-time" training and performance support systems.
TRD05: Promote Joint, Combined and Interagency Perspective in Training. In the future, the Army will continue to emphasize the importance of joint training exercises to prepare the Army to fight from battalion task force to theater level as a part of a joint/combined force. A force projection Army and rapid deployable forces must be trained in employing maximum fire power capabilities of all forces available to the Commander. A commander may have Army/Marine or multi-national units attached to his command. Training of joint, combined, and multi-national forces can be accomplished economically through simulation in synthetic environments. R&D is needed to: further the development of easily reconfigurable joint/combined force training simulations for use during exercises; and to develop a simulation capability for individual commanders and battle staffs to practice skills on a variety of joint/combined operations scenarios prior to exercises or use on the battlefield. Also, Army training will continue to emphasize the importance of effective communication between joint, combined, or interagency force elements. Research is needed that identifies the best ways to train or aid Commanders to interact effectively with their joint, combined, or other agency counterparts. Finally, out of economic necessity, the future promises closer work between the services to resolve common training problems. The merger of the Services' personnel/training research labs under DoD project Reliance is a major step in this direction. Another likely interservice efficiency will be joint training of select occupations that are common to all the services. Some R&D should be directed at enabling the services to develop and deliver joint training. Specific technologies that require additional research are:
(1) Knowledge regarding training development and delivery issues associated with a DoD-wide training system. Research is needed to explore the feasibility of combining selected training development activities and to identify the training technology and media requirements needed to effect a successful merger. Technologies that require further consideration in this context include interoperable video-teletraining networks; training development expert systems; and multi-media delivery systems. Research should also consider the implications of the "information superhighway" for meeting interservice and interagency training requirements. An early step in this research must be the identification of occupations with a sufficient number of common skill requirements across services to permit joint training development and delivery.
(2) Simulation in synthetic environments. Research in this area is needed to begin immediately integrating other services' resources into battalion and brigade level simulations to train other services combat capabilities. A longer-term goal for research is to develop the ability to construct, on demand, a variety of synthetic environments to conduct joint/service training. ARPA's Advanced Distributed Simulation Synthetic Battlefield Advanced Technology Demonstration I captures this vision for the future in which live, constructive, and virtual simulations will be integrated into a seamless battlefield. Numerous enabling technologies require further work to support these developments, among them: voice-connected speech, digital scanning, optical character recognition, distributed computing, advanced networks, behaviorally accurate SAFOR digitized terrain databases, and graphical 3D displays.