Leaders in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy participate in the first Air Combat Cross Services Training Range panel at I/ITSEC. (From Left: Col. Brian Henson, Senior Material Leader Aerospace Dominance Enabler Division; Capt. Lisa Sullivan, PMA-205 program manager; Col. Scott Koeckritz, Air Combat Command/A5T; and Capt. Brent Blackmer, U.S. Fleet Forces Command N72 Training Technologies and Live Virtual Constructive).    

Navy promotes necessity of integrated training at the I/ITSEC conference

Approximately 13,000 participants from nearly 50 countries came together to make the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2021 an informative experience with a full schedule of sessions, 400 exhibiting organizations and the latest in training innovation in Nov. 2021.  

Future expectations in the world of modeling, simulation, and training were on full display at I/ITSEC, the world's largest modeling, simulation, and training event. The theme for this year’s conference was “Innovating and Accelerating Training: Adapting to an Unexpected Future”.  

Multiple trainers currently in use from the Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges program office (PMA-205) and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division were on display at the U.S. Navy booth. The PMA-205 program manager, Capt. Lisa Sullivan, attended the event as a key speaker for two panels, “Vision from the Training Systems Program Managers” and “Air Combat Cross Services Training Ranges”. 

The program office delivered 147 products in 2021 and will double its deliveries in 2022. Sullivan attributed this success to PMA-205’s industry partners. “PMA-205’s partnership with industry enabled the delivery of lethal capabilities during a global pandemic,” she explained. 

One such delivery displayed at the conference was the upgraded T-6B Texan II Virtual Reality Part Task Trainer. This trainer, which is currently in use by Chief of Naval Air Training as part of their experimental Project Avenger flight training syllabus, provides a cost-effective training solution that accelerates student aviator learning and performance.  

Sullivan echoed the sentiments of the Chief of Naval Operations when speaking on the future of training, and she agrees that training must advance to replicate force-on-force training to test our ability to outmaneuver and defeat peer competitors. “Focusing on improving training for individual platform capabilities is not going to be enough,” said Sullivan. “That is why PMA-205 will continue to increase the Department of the Navy’s integrated warfighting training capabilities through maturing distributed mission training, integration of training systems of systems, and fielding new training range capabilities in support of a Live, Virtual, and Constructive environment.”  

Replicating force-on-force training will require joint, interoperable training environments. To address this at the 2021 I/ITSEC, a new panel to highlight joint training requirements was introduced. The Air Combat Cross Services Training Ranges panel gathered U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force requirements and acquisition leads to discuss current and future threats and requirements for new interoperable training range capabilities and improved range infrastructure.    

About Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges program office (PMA-205) 

PMA-205 provides full life-cycle acquisition of naval aviation platforms, general training systems, training range instrumentation systems, and distributed mission training centers to provide USN and USMC pilots, naval flight officers, aircrew, and maintainers with the training equipment required to provide lethal capability and operational readiness. The program office manages flight simulators, part-task trainers, maintenance trainers, airborne and underwater training range instrumentation, threat systems, and associated curricula to ensure optimum performance for naval aviation.   

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