By John Daniele
The Romanian armed forces’ training vision is to prepare leaders, Soldiers, and units for operational missions in support of NATO-International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan and Kosovo, the European Union, United Nations, and Romanian national security interests. The Romanian land forces’ “commander’s intent” is to train to improve readiness and warfighting capabilities through tough, realistic, battle-focused combined arms training that is a combination of live, virtual, constructive, and gaming capabilities. Through the acquisition and integration of advanced training technologies, the Romanian armed forces say they will be better prepared to achieve this vision and improve leader and staff development and unit readiness.
Security Assistance and Foreign Military Sales
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, specifically the Program Executive Office Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), and its defense industry partner Cubic Corp. are helping to bring this vision to reality. PEO STRI is in Phase 3 of a four-phase security assistance and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program that began in 2002. PEO STRI has delivered the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS) system, Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), and Initial-Homestation Instrumentation Training System (I-HITS). These deliveries are manifested into mobile training systems for homestation and local training areas throughout Romania and fixed systems at three institutional training centers, and are being fully integrated into a state-of-the-art Combat Training Center (CTC) in Cincu.
The Romanian land forces employ these capabilities through a unit training cycle that begins at homestation and includes a platoon, company, battalion, and brigade leader training program and a JCATS simulation-based Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX). A successful unit will deploy to the CTC at Cincu to conduct a Mission Readiness Exercise (MRE) that uses JCATS, MILES, and I-HITS to conduct full-spectrum command post training that addresses the military decision-making process and information operations, as well as a force-on-force continuous operations field training exercise. At the end of this rigorous training cycle, the unit either returns to its homestation to execute an annual training plan utilizing the after action review, take home package, and training assessment, or is deployed to a theater of operations as a combat ready unit.
The JCATS capability impacts more than 20 Romanian units per year and 2,500 leaders, while the MILES and I-HITS capabilities at the CTC support a throughput of eight battalions and three brigades per year, impacting more than 5,000 members of the Romanian armed forces. The observer-controllers and mentors for each MRX/MRE are pulled from the last battalion returning from a theater of operations, while the opposing forces and civilians on the battlefield are pulled from the next battalion coming to the CTC. This provides a continuous lessons learned process and is accelerating the training and modernization of the Romanian armed forces.
Phase 4 of the security assistance and FMS program will deliver to the CTC an exercise control capability, instrumentation capability for approximately 300 additional dismounted Soldiers, and instrumentation for a variety of vehicles employed by the Romanian ground forces. In addition, PEO STRI will deliver the U.S. Army’s current training game capability, Virtual BattleSpace 2, making the Romanian armed forces the first country to acquire a gaming capability through the FMS process. Phase 4 is expected to be complete in 2013.
- JOHN DANIELE is the Director of International Programs at PEO STRI. He holds a B.S. in management from Kean University and an M.A. in communication from the University of Central Florida. Daniele is Level III certified in program management and is a U.S. Army Acquisition Corps member.