NATO hosted a panel discussion today on "Simulation as a Capability Development Enabler" as part of its participation in the 2012 International Defence Education and Training Conference (ITEC) in London, Great Britain. Attendees included subject matter experts and other representatives from both Industry and Academia.
The audience heard remarks from senior Flag and General officers from NATO's Allied Command Transformation (ACT), the Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway and the Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland, as well as the NATO Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia, Italy and the NATO Modelling and Simulation Centre of Excellence in Rome, Italy.
The panel described the current state of Modelling and Simulation (M&S) in driving the capability development for NATO forces, to include recent technological advances in networked training solutions and the future potential of such tools.
ACT's Assistant Chief of Staff for Capability Engineering, Brigadier General Giovanni Fungo defined Modelling and Simulation as a methodology to ensure that troops and staff receive realistic training while living within fiscal and environmental realities.
The panel session focused on how key ACT organisations are putting M&S technologies to best use within the NATO command and force structure. A good example of this is ACT's improvement of Concept Development through the use of simulation.
Panel members also reinforced the value of distributed, networked training architectures and the ways in which technological interoperability is driving operational improvements in NATO through joint exercises to real world missions.
The panel was followed by a question and answer session focused on the future of NATO's efforts in education and training with a specific question on post-2014 Afghanistan.
ACT's Joint Force Trainer, Lieutenant General Karl Heinz Viereck noted that current training and exercises are designed to prepare NATO forces for diverse environments and operations across a range of mission sets. While the political realities today are country-specific, the focus of Alliance efforts for the future are deliberately more generic in order to provide credibility to NATO's focus on the decades to come, without regard to where global security might require engagement.
Finally, Brigadier General Fungo addressed the need for closer collaboration with Industry and Academia to ensure that NATO remains on the leading edge of innovation as a complement to NATO's own development of modeling and simulation solutions to future challenges.
"Allied Command Transformation has an Office of Academia and Industry which is headed by Brigadier General Fungo that ensures that ACT is closely connected with Academia and Industry. It is just one more way that ACT is providing value for money to the Alliance." Said Wayne Buck.
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