News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

O. Personnel Performance and Training

1. Scope

The DoD Personnel Performance and Training (PP&T) program seeks to maximize human military performance. Army S&T investments in personnel performance technology address recruitment, selection, classification, and assignment of people to military jobs. These investments seek to reduce the attrition of high quality personnel, support the development of managers and leaders, and predict and measure the consequences of policy decisions. Army S&T investments in training technology improve the effectiveness of individual and collective training, enhance military training systems, and provide more cost–effective opportunities for skill practice, mission rehearsal, and enhanced performance. PP&T technologies provide efficiencies in the operation and maintenance of both current and future systems and result in increased readiness of our warfighting forces.

2. Rationale

The FY98 Army posture statement states:

"The Army’s ability to respond rapidly to crises worldwide requires a trained and ready Army, and that requires high–quality people; tough, realistic, mission–focused training, and competent leaders . . . . Executing missions across the full spectrum of military operations requires soldiers able to think on both a tactical and an operational level. They must be highly skilled and well trained to adapt to complex, dangerous, and ever changing situations throughout the world. [Leaders] must be creative at solving problems and capable of operating in complex, ambiguous, ever–changing environments."

Force XXI will enhance the abilities of the best soldiers in the Army’s history through the use of simulations and simulator–based training. As they have always been, soldiers will be the most important element of Force XXI.

Intelligent selection, classification, retention, and organization of quality soldiers are necessary to maintain a stable, disciplined, well–trained fighting force. Effective individual and unit collective training strategies must be developed to meet the Army’s changing roles and missions in the face of decreased resources. Significant advances in distributed interactive simulation (DIS) and virtual reality (VR) technologies permit the development of synthetic environments that can be used to provide realistic combat training. Empirically based training strategies are required to make the most cost–effective use of new training technologies.

3. Technology Subareas

a. Personnel Performance

Goals and Timeframes

Selection and Classification. Improved aptitude testing and assignment methods reduce training time and increase the quality of soldier performance. Applying these technologies to the Army After Next requires knowing what tasks 21st century noncommissioned officers (NCOs) will be performing and hence what characteristics they must possess to become proficient and effective in these jobs. The near–term research tasks include identifying future NCO requirements (FY98), developing prototype NCO performance measures (FY99), and linking aptitude and performance measures (FY00).

Human Resource Development. This research will use new longitudinal investigative methods to determine the effects on soldiers and families of participation in significant Army organizational changes/events (e.g., reserve component participation in the recent Bosnia peacekeeping mission, the Gulf War, Army downsizing, and various stability operations). Short– and long–term lessons learned from these experiences will be provided to the Army in FY98.

Major Technical Challenges

Develop ways of capturing what future NCO jobs will demand in terms of individual attributes and skills, and develop measures that best predict which individuals should be selected for these new jobs.
Develop techniques for DoD and Army decision makers, unit commanders, soldiers, and their families to effectively adapt to organizational change and demands.

b. Training

Goals and Timeframes

Unit Collective Training. The effectiveness of synthetic and DIS environments rests in large measure on the training strategies, performance measurement techniques, and performance feedback methods employed. Research goals are to develop training packages and evaluation techniques to support emerging Force XXI digital capabilities; specify the required simulation capabilities and the effective mix of live exercises with new and existing training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (FY98); determine training needs for mission planning and mission rehearsal tasks (FY98); and develop measures to assess performance and provide feedback for DIS systems such as the close combat tactical trainer (FY98). In support of the mounted battlespace battle laboratory, develop training and evaluation technologies that will prepare operators and commanders to take maximum advantage of evolving digital C3 systems (FY01).

Simulator Enhanced Training. This research uses a simulator training research advanced testbed for aviation (STRATA) to evaluate all significant parameters of simulator design to determine their contribution to the development and retention of aviation skills. In FY98 the types and direction of motion needed for effective simulation–based training will be determined.

Land Warfare Training. Research goals include development of night operations training support packages for infantry forces, a computer–based foreign language tutoring system for soldiers who need to sustain high levels of language proficiency, and decision making tools to help reserve component (RC) commanders decide when it is more cost effective to do live training or a given form of simulation. Expected FY98 products include training programs for improving combat vehicle identification with IR devices, validated training materials for selected battle staff positions, continuous speech recognition incorporated in the language tutor, and methods for training and assessing individual team member skills in virtual environments (VEs).

Battle Command Training. Future battle scenarios place a premium on commanders who are versatile in their thinking, able to synthesize large amounts of disparate data, and able to change their actions quickly if the situation requires it. The research tasks include developing measures of battle command skills (FY98), validating these skill measures (FY99), and tryout of instructional modules for teaching versatile thinking skills (FY00).

Major Technical Challenges

The Army needs to develop new training and performance measurement technology that will allow it to effectively train for the full range of individual and unit tasks within budgetary constraints. Research is needed to enhance the effectiveness of new training simulation technologies such as VE and DIS through the development of training strategies. Research has shown that the effectiveness of new training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (TADSS) is largely a function of their appropriateness to the tasks that they train for, and the adequacy of performance measurement and feedback techniques. Innovative training methods need to be developed that use these new tools to improve overall training effectiveness. Specific challenges include:

Develop individual and collective training strategies that provide an effective and affordable mix of live exercises and synthetic training environments to prepare soldiers to cope with the proliferation of possible missions.
Assess the effectiveness of VE, DIS, and TADSS systems to support individual, unit collective, multiservice, and joint training and use the data to maximize training value.
Demonstrate training strategies and performance evaluation technologies to support emerging digital technologies and the accompanying new doctrine.
Increase knowledge of what the future battle commander’s critical thinking skills will be, and how to improve their acquisition through instruction.

4. Roadmap of Technology Objectives

The roadmap of technology objectives for Personnel Performance and Training is shown in Table IV–30.

5. Linkages to Future Operational Capabilities

The influence of this technology area on TRADOC FOCs is summarized in Table IV–31.

Table IV–30.  Technical Objectives for Personnel Performance and Training

Technology Subarea

Near Term FY98–99

Mid Term FY00–04

Far Term FY05–13

Identify Force XXI NCO job requirements

Post–mobilization impact of peacekeeping operations on career development and commitment

New assessment techniques for NCO selection, assignment, and development

Tools to evaluate soldier/family impact of changing military experiences

Job–specific selection and assignment methods that ensure flexible and effective personnel/job/career matching

Organization and job design/redesign methods that keep pace with changing missions and skill requirements

Training Prototype training methods/strategies to facilitate the acquisition of collective skills in a digital environment

Fidelity requirements for networked aviation training systems

Methodologies for training and assessing small dismounted unit performance in a virtual environment (VE)

Measures to assess battle command skill performance

Combined arms, multiservice, and joint training methods and measures of performance

Aviation training strategy utilizing low cost alternatives to resource–intensive training

Prototype training and evaluation methods to support emerging digital equipment and doctrine

Interactive, VE–based training and mission rehearsal techniques for soldiers and small units

Methods for improving the acquisition and use of cognitive skills needed for 21st century battle command

Training techniques and strategies for warfighters to attain mastery of critical tasks and skills in synthetic environments

Methods for developing commanders of a more diversified military force to respond effectively and rapidly to future mission requirements

Advanced warfighting training strategies for units to attain 21st century battlefield dominance

Advanced, cost–effective training methods and strategies for the RC to effectively perform its changing and complex roles and missions


Table IV–31.  Personnel Performance and Training Linkages to Future Operational Capabilities

Technology Subarea

Integrated and Branch/Functional Unique Future Operational Capabilities

Personnel Performance TR 97–047 Leader and Commander Training
TR 97–051 Training Infrastructure
Training TR 97–047 Leader and Commander Training
TR 97–048 Performance Support Systems
TR 97–049 Battle Staff Training and Support
TR 97–050 Joint, Combined, and Interagency Training
TR 97–052 Training Aids, Devices, Simulators, and Simulations Fidelity Requirements
TR 97–054 Virtual Reality
TR 97–055 Live, Virtual, and Constructive Simulation Technologies
TR 97–056 Synthetic Environment

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