With NATO Allied Command Transformation's (ACT) footprint at ITEC increasing year by year, each event brings new importance. ITEC 2012 addressed subjects of crucial significance across civil and military sectors, among which was the design and acquisition of the best training solutions, an area of particular interest to ACT.
"ITEC has a missing piece" said Wayne Buck, the organiser of the NATO VIP Day, "the customer is not represented in a well thought out methodical manner. It is our intention to assist ITEC with bringing the customer to the conference and exhibition so that the customer may benefit more."
This year ITEC held a "NATO VIP Day" with Flag and General Officers from various NATO commands touring many of the exhibitor booths and receiving briefings and demonstrations from subject matter experts and industry executives. The presentations were a snapshot of the most up-to-date technological advancements in modelling and simulation applications for military Education & Training and other domains.
The VIP day also served to present a unified presence of the multiple NATO commands utilising modelling and simulation in their current training efforts. The group engagement with Industry and Academia is demonstrative of NATO's intent to interact more effectively with private companies as part of the Secretary General's Smart Defence initiative.
This was also the first time that these commanders came together to share knowledge and explain their use of modelling and simulation within their respective organisations. This exchange of awareness and ideas is another example of how the Alliance is finding new ways to cooperate and collaborate in the interest of creating better capabilities in a more cost effective manner.
"Modelling and simulation is an important part of every training event held at our training centres. We need to ensure that the centres are well represented and state their requirements in a well thought out and constructive manner" said Brigadier General Fungo, ACT's Assistant Chief of Staff for Capability Engineering.
Specific organisations that were visited included: QinetiQ, a designer of training techniques; Finmeccanica, a prime contractor for the NATO Centre of Excellence for Modeling & Simulation in Rome, Italy; CAE, with new education and training techniques using serious games that are of interest to NATO; Alelo, a small corporation invested in cultural awareness and language training; and 4C Strategies, who discussed the company's involvement in PfP training and Exercise Viking.
Of these exhibitor visits, one of the highlights was Bohemia, the developer of VBS Worlds, a program in which NATO has recently invested, where the VIPs received updates on how the latest in the product's development will affect their organisations.
"I can assure you that NATO will be at ITEC 2013 in Rome and that we will endevour to encourage commanders and staffs to participate and explain their requirements." Said Buck.
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