Orlando, Florida --
Marine Corps System Command’s Program Manager for Training Systems is working with industry partners to field the Live Virtual Constructive-Training Environment.
LVC-TE is a software-intensive system that will provide enterprise services to execute persistent, consistent, collective training capability by connecting legacy Marine Corps training systems to support training exercises from the Marine Expeditionary Forces down to subordinate units.
“The LVC-TE program is a key component of TECOM's modernization efforts for the Marine Corps and conforms to the tenets of the Commandant's Planning Guidance and Force Design 2030,” explained former Deputy Commanding General of Marine Corps Training and Education Command Brig. Gen. Matthew Reid. “LVC-TE will be the foundational program for the Marine Corps' future simulation-supported training to improve our ability to fight and win our nation's battles.”
Reid noted that the LVC-TE program aims to create a live, virtual and constructive all-domain combat training environment, fully integrated across the Marine Air Ground Task Force.
“Once complete, units will be able to integrate all elements of the MAGTF from geographically disparate locations to improve and sustain the combat readiness of the entire Fleet Marine Force,” said Reid.
From Vision to Reality
According to PM TRASYS’ LVC-TE Project Team Lead Ron Inmon, the Marine Corps has envisioned the LVC-TE live virtual constructive training environment over the past decade.
“There was an Initial Capabilities Document developed in 2010, with a subsequent Concept of Operations developed by TECOM in 2015,” said Inmon. “Meanwhile, the Fleet continued to experiment with various LVC-TE training events, including multiple live large-scale exercises. As a result of those large-scale exercises, the Fleet determined that they needed a consistent, persistent training environment that allowed live virtual and constructive training to happen in a training continuum.”
According to Inmon, all of those lessons learned helped to support an Analysis of Alternatives, which was completed in 2018, and concluded that the best way forward was to focus on connecting legacy training systems as opposed to starting over from scratch.
“We have a Capabilities Development Document, which was completed in August of 2020,” Inmon continued. “That CDD supported the AoA and aligned the fact that the Marine Corps will be executing LVC-TE by connecting legacy training systems that have brought huge amounts of value to their training audiences.”
The CDD also defined the initial legacy systems that will provide baseline capabilities for LVC-TE: Combined Arms Command and Control Training Upgrade System, a constructive system for collective training environments; Supporting Arms Virtual T; Virtual Battle Space out of the Deployable Virtual Training Environment; and Marine Corps flight simulators on a network called Aviation Distributed Virtual Training Environment.
Software Acquisition Pathway offers flexibility
LVC-TE will run on commercial-off-the-shelf hardware with a set of tools that will provide the desired training environment, said Inmon.
PM TRASYS is using the Software Acquisition Pathway acquisition strategy and obtained authorization to enter the execution milestone phase in April 2022 and is working to obtain Minimum Viable Capability Release in April 2023.
“We continue to develop our product roadmap, and have the flexibility to make changes along the way as things get re-prioritized. We are not doing this in a vacuum,” Inmon said. “We started with the requirements that were in the CDD, but we're refining and prioritizing those requirements with the Fleet. Please keep in mind LVC-TE is a suite of tools and does not provide training. The training is still being done at those constituent level training systems. We’re just the glue tying it all together.”
The exercise design tools contained in LVC-TE supports exercise and scenario planning with multiple abilities, ranging from meeting training objectives to producing archives. Specific tool elements include an exercise control tool, Common Repository, and After-Action Report tool.
PM TRASYS Chief Engineer of Synthetic Training Systems Eric Jarabak highlighted the timeliness of changes and responsiveness to the Fleet as two of the most important aspects of pursuing SWP for LVC-TE.
“SWP gives us the necessary tools we need to be responsive to the Fleet and their needs and address changes on the fly that LVC-TE needs to do,” Jarabak said as he emphasized how the team has consistently garnered feedback from the Marine Fleet Force throughout the process to ensure that they are a partner and not just a receiver of an end-state capability.
Interoperable training environment for Marines, sister services
As an example of what the program linkages in LVC-TE will bring to the fleet, he offered, “Supporting Arms Virtual Trainer is our Call for Fire / Close Air Support trainer, where we have a Joint Tactical Air Controller that is actually going through the motions of being a JTAC. In the former silo training environment, within SAVT they're working with an instructor / operator, normally a contracted person who is playing the role of a pilot or someone that they're talking to. LVC-TE will enable them to connect to the real flight simulators that a real Marine pilot is using. So, instead of talking back to that SAVT instructor / operator, they're now speaking to an actual pilot, just as they would if they were in a real operational environment.”
PM TRASYS LVC-TE Project Manager Carlos Cuevas, a former Marine infantry officer, offered another perspective.
“I’ve worked with some of these legacy systems in the past, in the capacity of an end user and planner,” he said. “And the value I see, now being on this end and working at PM TRASYS, is the continued improvement and fidelity of bringing these systems together to operate, plan, execute, and practice tactics, techniques and procedures in a virtual environment. In the past, we were a little ‘siloed’ in the individual systems. But now we will be able to train in an interoperable training environment, allowing units and Marines to face some of these tactical dilemmas on a simulated battlefield before they experience it on the actual battlefield. So that gives me a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement for the capabilities that we're working toward to help the warfighters.”
Cuevas also identified continued interoperability between sister service representatives as critical within the LVC realm.
He cited cooperation with the Office of Naval Research’s effort on what is termed Fiteware - Future Integrated Training Environment Software as one example, describing it as “a project that ONR has been working on for some years and has socialized and circulated within the operating forces at various Marine Corps locations for use with things like exercise control.”
“But the value in that strategic communication and technical interchange with ONR is that it has allowed us to explore existing and future solutions to some of those tools that we're looking for to be part of LVC-TE,” he continued. “We also have conversations with the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, the Army's component of acquisitions for simulation systems here, as well as with the Navy, as we try to leverage new LVC capabilities.”
LVC-TE is a program of record managed by the PM TRASYS Product Manager for Synthetic Training Systems.