USS Carl Vinson, CSG 1 Complete Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint Exercise


USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 completed a four-day Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint Exercise (FST-J) combined with the Army, Marines, Air Force and coalition forces from the Australian and Canadian navies Oct. 28.

FST-J is a pierside exercise completed in a virtual environment simulating real-world battle problems. It integrates joint forces, geographically separated, in a tactically and operationally demanding training environment.

“In the exercise, the strike group is connected with a network of patriot sites, air defense sites, as well as simulated sites,” said Cmdr. Kyle Weaver, strike group training coordinator for Tactical Group Training Pacific. “This creates a massive dynamic environment with thousands of tracks in the system that the joint team has to work together to classify and respond to, as if we were actually underway.”

In the virtual environment, trainers have total control of the battle problems and can make real-time adjustments based on the performance of the strike group, allowing battle problems to be tailored while maximizing training objectives.

“The unique aspect of FST-J is that we have the ability to inject several entities into the simulation,” said Weaver. “We have complete control over what they do, how they act and what their capabilities are – as opposed to live training exercises, where there are a limited number of resources available to be sent to fight the enemy.”

“Simulated air, sea and surface contacts look real to those participating in the exercise and the recommended actions are the same as if the ship were actually at sea,” said Weaver. “The benefit is costs are significantly lower in a virtual exercise.”

However, FST-J is not intended to replace live training exercises, but to complement them.

“There is no substitute to the real thing, but FST-J allows joint and coalition forces to complete a large-scale exercise that would otherwise not be logistically or financially possible,” said Weaver.

Source: navy, October 31, 2011