Army Spending Big on Training, Modeling, Simulation.

Author:Harper, Jon

* The market for Army training, modeling and simulation capabilities has seen significant growth in recent years, and major opportunities lie ahead for contractors, analysts say.

Unclassified contract obligations for these initiatives totaled $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2015, according to a Bloomberg Government report, "Army Market: Budget and Opportunities." That number rose to $1.8 billion in 2016, $2.3 billion in 2017 and $2.4 billion in 2018. Contract obligations are estimated to further increase to $2.7 billion in 2019 and $3 billion in 2020.

"The Army is moving rapidly to enhance training because of the renewed focus on potential near-peer adversaries," said the report. "The training, modeling and simulation market is strong and growing."

To better prepare for high-end threats, the service is creating a synthetic training environment that would utilize a combination of live training, virtual and augmented reality, and gaming technology to enable individual soldiers and units to conduct realistic, repetitive training anywhere in the world. (See story on page 30)

The Army is also gung-ho on conducting exercises and experimentation to test new technology and multi-domain operating concepts, Cameron Leuthy, a senior budget analyst with Bloomberg Government, said during a recent industry briefing.

"There has also been recapitalization going on with Army training equipment," he added.

Recapitalization initiatives with requests for proposals expected by the end of this year include the Soldier/Squad Virtual Trainer, the National Cyber Range Complex, and Training and Doctrine Command's G-2 Operational Environment and Core Function Support for intelligence training. Upcoming major exercises include Cyber Quest 2020, Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments 2020 and the April-May 2020 Joint Warfighting Assessment, according to his presentation slides.

The Army's plans to upgrade its command, control, communications and computer networks will create new training needs and opportunities, Leuthy noted. The network is one of the service's top modernization priorities.

"The network issue is a huge problem," he said. "The cyber and the training related to that is... where they're going to invest."

Additionally, the Army is planning to move away from its Warfighter Focus, or WFF, training services contract vehicle, which includes maintenance, operations and sustainment of training systems, Leuthy noted. The contract vehicle has been worth billions of...

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