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NEWS | April 20, 2015

Diverse System Creates Exponential Training 0pportunities

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"Our goal is to simulate a big war; with live, virtual and constructive training we can increase the scope of the exercise, simulating large scale conflict."

What this means, said Lt. Col. Dennis Lincoln, the 353rd Combat Training Squadron director of operations, is during RED FLAG-Alaska and other combat training here, computer aids and virtual participants in simulators will "exponentialize" the live training environment.

LVC uses software to integrate virtual cockpits, computer generated forces, live weapons platforms and real life assets fused together to produce this "war." The LVC will be used at Eielson for the first time during RF-A 15-2 starting April 30.

"Red Flag is designed to simulate the first surge during a war, mostly the first 10 combat sorties during that conflict," Lincoln said. "In a real-life situation, there would be a thousand different things going on in your radar, whether it was ground-to-air missiles, other aircraft, electronic weapons systems, troops on the ground or close air support. Integrating LVC is a way for us to further create a more realistic battlefield for participants, which previously was confined to real assets."

Using the newly acquired training aid adds new challenges for the 353rd CTS.
"Running the real life side of things is sometimes taxing because there are so many moving parts," Lincoln said. "Our people have really stepped up using our resources at hand to test and implement this new system."

The challenges bring big rewards to the training environment as it integrates platforms that can't regularly be tasked for training because of real world-requirements.

"Low density, high demand assets such as the RC-135 [Rivet Joint] aren't able to be utilized especially in a remote location such as Eielson," he said. "We can utilize a single aircrew or even contracted trainers back in a simulator at a different base into the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex to simulate real life contingency operations."

Emissions from live JPARC equipment will be detected by the Rivet Joints, exploited and used by the command elements to task live and virtual fighters through voice and data links.

Along with the added air assets, the CTS plans to implement U.S. Army striker brigades into future RED FLAGs and exercises.

The ground assets will be completing their training mission on the ground while inadvertently acting in a second role as a training aid to reconnaissance and fighter aircraft above. The LVC will display the U.S. ground forces as enemies on on-board systems, creating a target for them to attack within their aircraft.

"The 'L' is always the most exciting part of these exercises, but when you have the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines working together within this constructive and virtual environment, that's where the money is at," said Brian Smith, 353rd CTS Army and special operations liaison. "With the range we operate in and the fact that our local Army striker brigade from Fort Wainwright is the only one in the world equipped with this technology, the total force integration creates the most unique training opportunity you can't find anywhere else."

With the JPARC being in remote portions of Alaska and often inaccessible from the ground, LVC also allows training aids to be simulated virtually where tangible assets would be too costly to place and maintain.

"Overall the JPARC and exercises hosted here offer a training environment like no other in the world," Lincoln said. "With the already unique landscape, unparalleled support and aircrew, adding in LVC is going to be a game changer for our trainees and future learning opportunities."

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