FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Soldiers who trained in the Stryker Virtual Collective Trainer liked the SVCT and suggested improvements for an upcoming Stryker simulator.
The SVCT — a demonstrator simulator — was designed at the Combined Arms Center — Training Innovation Facility (CAC-TIF) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to identify requirements so the Army can fix the Stryker capability training gap.
In 2016, the CAC-TIF team took the SVCTs to Mission Command Training centers at Fort Carson, Colorado, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington, to get Stryker crews’ reactions to the SVCT. At both posts, hundreds of Soldiers trained on the SVCTs, and leaders saw how the SVCTs helped their units.
“The SVCT is absolutely invaluable as an asset,” said Col. Curt Taylor of the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team. “I have made Table II qualification in the SVCT mandatory for all Stryker crews in the brigade, and we have seen a really positive bump in scores as a result.”
At JBLM, Capt. Jeffrey Courchaine said, “Our experience with the SVCT was positive.”
He explained how the SVCT helped his Soldiers overcome training barriers. “Poor weather, training area conflicts, and a high OPTEMPO reduce the calendar space for training,” said Courchaine, Battle Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
Lt. Col. Mike Stinchfield led the SVCT effort at Fort Leavenworth.
“The SVCT is a low-cost, software-based, simulator platform designed to facilitate collective training at the Stryker platoon level,” he said. “It is relatively easy to configure and administer by Mission Training Center personnel, but still provides a realistic training environment for crews and dismounted Soldiers.”
Stinchfield added that SVCT helps Soldiers succeed in live training, but is not a replacement for training in the field.
In July, Fort Carson Soldiers conducted a rehearsal exercise in the SVCTs using simulated Fort Carson terrain generated from Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3), the Army’s premier gaming program. The exercise included cavalry elements conducting area reconnaissance operations and infantry elements conducting combined arms breach rehearsals.
Commanders said the SVCT allowed company leaders to improve their junior leaders’ decision-making ability and crew proficiency. Leaders also liked VBS3’s after-action-review capabilities that helped them refine their live fire plans.
Later the CAC-TIF team took the SVCTs to JBLM where Soldiers and leaders said the time spent in the SVCTs helped them prepare for live exercises.
Soldiers from both posts suggested some changes to the SVCT such as:
• Improved, more realistic communications systems for the simulator.
• Better modeling of the driver station and vehicle behavior.
• Some additional Stryker specific systems.
The feedback will help the CAC-TIF work with other Army organizations to develop a Stryker simulator.
At the CAC-TIF, Soldiers and civilians demonstrate how emerging technologies such as virtual reality and common commercial devices such as touchscreens can be leveraged to provide immersive training. They use today’s off-the-shelf technologies to show how to create new Army training capabilities.
The CAC-TIF is part of the Combined Arms Center — Training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. You can learn more at CAC-T’s website: http://usacac.army.mil/organizations/cact/ or follow CAC-T at its Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/usacactraining. Its Twitter handle is @usacactraining.