Fort McCoy News Dec. 9, 2016

McCoy adds HITS to simulation-training assets

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy's simulation-training capabilities continue to grow with the recent addition of the Home Station Instrumentation Training System (HITS).

The system, housed in building 661, has been operational since Nov. 22 and is a great addition to the simulation-training complex at Fort McCoy, said Training Support Officer Rob Weisbrod with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS).

HITS is a training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations system that supports after-action review (AAR) capabilities for units at the battalion and below level, Weisbrod said.

Michael Boyko and Lindsay Garvin, both contractors with Camber Corp., prepare equipment for the Home-station Instrumentation Training System Dec. 2 in building 661 at Fort McCoy.
Michael Boyko and Lindsay Garvin, both contractors with Camber
Corp., prepare equipment for the Home-station Instrumentation
Training System Dec. 2 in building 661 at Fort McCoy.

"HITS provides the automated tools (and instrumentation) for unit leaders and designated observer-controller/trainers to collect, analyze, and present training-performance feedback to their unit in a multimedia AAR and take-home package," Weisbrod said. "HITS supports force-on-force and force-on-target training across a full spectrum of operations."

HITS also receives and transmits tactical engagement results through Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems (I-MILES) and records instrumented entity status and location through GPS, Weisbrod said. While in use, I-MILES messages are transmitted through the player unit radio (PUR) to the Training Data Management System, or computer processors, in the mobile-training command center.

"This allows HITS to track the location of instrumented Soldiers and vehicles, display engagement pairing lines (who shot who), and give the status of the instrumented Soldiers and vehicles," he said. "It also provides audio and video capability to facilitate AARs.

"HITS also is an important component for Fort McCoy to achieve a live virtual-constructive integrated-training environment (LVC ITE) in support of its strategic goals," Weisbrod said. "We have fielded 295 vehicle PUR interface kits and 867 dismount PUR interface kit that are attached to the I-MILES."

Mike Boyko, site lead for Fort McCoy HITS operations with contractor Camber Corp., said the system should be effective at supporting many types of training events at Fort McCoy.

"HITS is especially good for convoy-operations and force-on-force training," Boyko said.

Boyko said Fort McCoy is one of two installations to field the newest version of the HITS. Fort Benning, Ga., also has the system. "We have spent a little over a year getting this system set up at Fort McCoy," he said.

Mike Boyko, a contractor with Camber Corp., tests the software programs of the Home-station Instrumentation Training System Dec. 2.
Mike Boyko, a contractor with Camber Corp., tests the software
programs of the Home-station Instrumentation Training System Dec. 2.

Many safety features are built into HITS.

"The system (for example) allows for operators to see (action) in real time, so if something happens where immediate help is needed for the people or vehicles being tracked, the system can pinpoint their location immediately and help can be sent," Boyko said.

HITS joins a long list of training systems at Fort McCoy. Simulators and trainers already in use at Fort McCoy include: the Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer; Virtual Battle Space Simulation; Call-For-Fire Trainer; Individual and Collective Engagement Skills Trainers; Virtual Clearance Training Suite; HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) Egress Assistance Trainer; Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected Vehicle Common Driver Trainer; Dismounted Soldier Training System; and Medical Simulation Training Center.

Most simulation-training capabilities have been added to Fort McCoy since 2006, Weisbrod said.

"HITS is the live component of the LVC ITE along with the training areas and ranges that will allow Fort McCoy to push forward in trying to achieve a LVC ITE," he said.

"When units are utilizing simulation-training capabilities such as HITS, it provides those units a great opportunity to conduct rehearsals before they actually go out to live ranges," Weisbrod said. "Simulation training offers the opportunity to practice battle drills, communications, and leadership skills."

Weisbrod said planning is underway to include HITS in numerous 2017 training events.

"In the near term, (DPTMS) has already coordinated with the 86th Training Division exercise planners to incorporate the HITS into live training for the (next) Warrior Exercise and the Combat Support Training Exercise," Weisbrod said. "We also will market this capability to other units that will conduct force-on-force training at Fort McCoy."

For more information about simulation-training opportunities at Fort McCoy, call 608-388-2733.