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Army Opens First-of-its-Kind Training System for Wideband Satellite Operators

By asc.army.mil

Sgt. Roy Dilworth III, an instructor at the U.S. Army Signal School in Fort Gordon, GA, demonstrates how students will benefit from the modular, interactive training and simulation system.
Sgt. Roy Dilworth III, an instructor at the U.S. Army Signal School in Fort Gordon, GA, demonstrates how students will benefit from the modular, interactive training and simulation system.

Fort Gordon, Ga.—The U.S. Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence (USACCoE) unveiled the Army’s first-of-its-kind Wideband Training and Certification System (WTCS) here on Jan. 11. Students attending the USACCoE’s Satellite Systems Network Coordinator Course will use WTCS to apply classroom learning to simulations generated from real-world events.

Soldiers training on WTCS will soon staff the Army’s Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Centers (WSOC) located at five military installations worldwide. At the WSOCs, operators perform satellite payload management tasks for the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) constellation of satellites, delivering world-class, resilient, assured, secured, and reliable strategic communications capability worldwide for the U.S. Army, all of DoD, other government agencies and the National Command Authority.

The WTCS allows instructors to build tailored scenarios to support specific training objectives. The WTCS reacts in real time to student input, allowing each scenario to develop realistically and simulate an unfolding situation. The first class of WSOC operators to use the WTCS is already underway and will graduate in February 2018.

Col. Enrique Costas, the Program Manager for Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS), says WTCS enhances the Army’s operational readiness.

“Army SATCOM enables satellite communications for carrier strike groups, deployed air wings, special operations task forces, intelligence assets, and strategic forces, providing them a decisive advantage to fight and win in any environment against any adversary,” said Costas. “By using WTCS to ‘train how we fight,’ WSOC operators will be better prepared to deliver their 24/7, no-fail mission to enable satellite communications for our Warfighters. It is all about operational readiness; the Army’s number one priority.”

PM DCATS selected the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) to develop and field the WTCS. It is PEO STRI’s first training and simulation system for space hardware. Brig. Gen. William E. Cole, program executive officer for PEO STRI, said that “creating a complex virtual training system from the ground up which provides high fidelity and an immersive experience is second nature to PEO STRI. WSOC operators have the responsibility to ensure satellite communications are always up and running. The WTCS will be an integral part of meeting that responsibility by providing training that prepares the WSOC operators to handle basic operations and more importantly, to be able to handle anomalies and threats. WTCS offers realistic training at an accelerated pace and a very reasonable cost.”

The WTCS is a modular, interactive training and simulation system to be used by the Army’s Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 25S, Satellite Systems Network Coordinator Course, Additional Skill Identifier (ASI) 1C. The USACCoE WTCS consists of two classrooms including 12 student and two instructor classroom workstations, six realistic, high fidelity laboratory training workstations, and two instructor lab workstations. Each WTCS supports up to 12 simultaneous running simulations, each representing a “mini WSOC”.

The ribbon cutting marks the delivery of the first two of seven WTCS trainers which PM DCATS and PEO STRI will field at WSOC facilities.

Posted January 19, 2018