With Raytheon technology, the U.S. Army brings training to the soldiers
In 2015, several thousand U.S. Army soldiers from Hawaii, Washington, Guam and Germany participated in Lightning Forge, a full-scale combat training exercise. But these war games were unusual: The soldiers stayed at home, and the battlefield came to them.
This military method for working remotely was made possible by Raytheon’s Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability Instrumentation System. In partnership with the U.S. Army, Raytheon uses JPMRC to blend real-world, live training with an immersive, virtual-world simulator and game-driven simulation, or constructive, modes.
Integrating these capabilities allows soldiers and multi-unit forces to remotely run training missions against “thinking” foes, similar to human adversaries encountered during traditional, in-person training exercises.
“This was the first time we used JPMRC in this way, and we were very pleased with the way things worked,” said Chris Kirby, Raytheon JPMRC-IS site manager. “This demonstrates the value of integrating the available training areas to help enhance home-station readiness for the military.”
JPMRC – an integrated system of easily-transportable shelters, communications hardware and advanced software – can be shipped and set up almost anywhere. The system integrates with and evaluates exercise scenarios involving combat teams as large as a brigade, helping analysts monitor training exercises closely while collecting video, voice and instrument data for all participants.
Post-exercise, JPMRC uses the data to create in-depth, after-action reviews that unit commanders use to more precisely train their soldiers.
“I was absolutely blown away at the level of the after-action review,” said Col. Scott Kelly, 3rd BCT commander. “It was extensive, professional and extremely well-organized.”
Perhaps more importantly, JPMRC gives U.S. Army commanders the flexibility to maximize scarce training resources and maintain high force readiness. Soldiers trained using the system arrive at Army Combat Training Centers better prepared to conduct distributed, integrated training operations, allowing them to focus on practicing maneuvers, accelerating reaction times and honing the weapons deployment and physical survival skills CTC exercises are designed to reinforce.
“For many, Lightning Forge was their first exposure to the JPMRC capability. The feedback from the soldiers made me excited about what it can do,” Kirby said. “And because it can be deployed just about anywhere, it can be used in a number of different ways to enhance readiness.”
JPMRC also allows units to train while in theater, increasing their ability to deal with sudden contingencies and complete training certifications with much lower costs than in-person training. And because JPMRC can operate around the clock for weeks at a time, it can rapidly train an entire fighting force.
“The cost savings are invaluable,” Kelly said. “I cannot replicate a CTC-like environment at home station, and the JPMRC gives me the best ability to do that.”
As the prime contractor for some of the world’s largest military and commercial training programs, Raytheon is a proven leader in the training services industry. JPRMC is one of several Raytheon capabilities used by the U.S. Army to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
In June 2007, Raytheon was selected to lead the Warrior Training Alliance and manage the consolidation of the U.S. Army’s live, virtual and constructive training modes. Under the Warfighter FOCUS (Field Operations Customer Support) program, Raytheon provides world-class training support to members of the military worldwide.
The WTA comprises more than 150 industry-leading member companies dedicated to providing integrated training support to the warfighter. Its flexible training support solutions are tailored to warfighters’ needs and are relevant to existing and evolving mission requirements.
"This new system gives us opportunities to maintain readiness in ways that provide great flexibility while maximizing scarce training resources," said Bob Williams, a retired U.S. Army major general and Raytheon vice president.