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Exhibition Focuses on Joint Operations, Disaster Preparation

By Capt. Steve Alvarez, USA
American Forces Press Service

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 28, 2005 – The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference opened its doors today to showcase technological developments in military training and provide a forum for industry professionals to share knowledge in the area of force preparation.

Presenters, attendees and exhibitors will partake in a series of discussions, seminars and demonstrations over the next three days that promote cooperation among the armed services, industry, academia and various government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs. The conference, convention officials said, is the world's largest military exhibit.

Conference officials said the U.S. military is amid a revolution in how it trains its forces to face complex and dangerous environments. Technology has enabled trainers to surround the trainee with total sensory immersion, creating situations that are virtually indistinguishable from reality.

"Tricking" the trainee into thinking he or she is in the real world causes the trainee to experience all the emotions, instincts and reactions that experienced in that environment. This mental state is invaluable for training, officials said, as it is the prerequisite for learning how to cope with a given challenge, regardless of its nature.

Military services also are transforming in the application of training technology, ITSEC officials say. The challenges of the post-9/11 world require new approaches in training to meet these threats, they added.

The solution, conference personnel said, is joint training, not only across the lines of each service within the Defense Department, but also with security forces of other nations. The complexities facing today's military, officials said -- natural and man-made obstacles -- demand concerted preparation that is coordinated across organizational, institutional and cultural boundaries.

Conference's highlights include a simulation of an international crisis, presented on a 30-foot jumbo screen, involving low-intensity conflict, search and rescue, and humanitarian assistance. More than 50 agencies and organizations from Europe, Asia and North America will participate in real time, providing coordinated responses to the many challenges faced in the scenario.

A multivehicle convoy trainer, designed to teach improvised-explosive-device avoidance techniques, combined tactics and urban warfare will also be showcased. This series of vehicles will be virtually linked to air support and other assets that can be drawn into a given scenario, including environments representing actual towns and cities in Iraq.

Also to be showcased are a virtual medical emergency facility, demonstrating civilian and military mass-casualty treatment, and the Army's Future Combat System, which links advanced communications and networking systems with soldiers, platforms, weapons and sensors.

The conference started in 1966 as the Naval Training Device Center/Industry Conference and later changed to its present name to reflect continued growth and changes in the industry, especially with more participation by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and industry organizations.

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