NATO Maritime Synthetic Collective Training Concept
“Train as you fight!”
In times of decreasing defence budgets and shrinking fleets the need to adequately and effectively respond with naval forces poses a challenge for nations and the Alliance. This challenge is ever increasing as the frequency, magnitude, and complexity of crises and conflicts worldwide demand naval forces that are prepared for any mission at any time.
Modern training technologies like the use of Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) entities within Synthetic Training Environments are already proven means in some Navies for complementing maritime live exercises. Virtual training environments strengthen combat skills and increase force cohesion before deploying to operations. The United States Navy’s Fleet Synthetic Training program is the most prominent example, underlining that there are already a number of nations experiencing the benefit of synthetic training events.
In consequence the NATO Training Group requested the COE CSW via the Headquarters Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) to develop an LVC-Training (LVC-T) concept for the maritime domain. This concept describes how the Alliance could utilise distributed synthetic training to improve readiness and increase interoperability of maritime forces. The LVC technology will provide multiple further forms of application such as tools for evaluating the performance of both staffs and forces during exercises, or as a test bed for experimenting tactics, techniques, and procedures.
The concept aims at implementing cost-effective, commercial-of-the-shelf technical solutions and pre-established standards for connecting simulators ashore and combat systems aboard. The initial focus of this venture will be to provide synthetic training for the Standing NATO Maritime Groups.
Meanwhile the concept has been approved by the Commander of MARCOM. Currently the COE CSW, together with a specialist team from the NATO Modelling and Simulation Group determines the necessary conditions for an implementation of LVC-T in the maritime domain. The same group will support MARCOM in the implementation of this powerful training tool to enhance operational readiness for maritime operations in peace, crisis and war.