Wednesday, September 10, 2014

US Army Europe uses technology to conduct exercises with different nations

US Army Europe uses technology to conduct exercises with different nations: U.S. Army Europe uses its latest simulation technology to join two training exercises from different countries and allow commanders to view and control troop movements as though units from both exercises are operating in the same area.

Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will appear to drop into Germany near Munich, which is just south of the main body of the Saber Junction exercise, in Hohenfels, Germany.

In actuality, the 173rd Airborne will be dropping onto an airfield in Latvia. Using an unclassified commercial internet connection, simulation systems in both locations communicate troop movements and allow a Lithuanian brigade commander in Hohenfels to control the multinational forces involved in the exercise.

The troop movements of both exercises are overlaid onto a map. The troop movements of the unit that is physically on the ground in Germany are transmitted via a global positioning satellite system built into the radios of soldiers and vehicles and fed to a simulation system.

The movements of the Soldiers in Latvia are also transmitted via GPS, but the computer system must take the GPS signal and make it appear as the Soldiers are in the exercise operating area in Germany.

The simulation training is not limited to ground troop movements. Simulated unmanned aircraft systems can be fed into the simulation systems as well to give leaders a "live" picture of the battleground.

Helicopter pilots can also take part in the battles as they fly simulators over the artificially built world. Simulated flights save on fuel costs and reduce noise pollution near training areas and are immune to weather that might otherwise ground aircraft.