Inverting the Simulation Paradigm

Virtual and constructive training will increasingly be the path the Air Force must go down in order to train for high-end advanced threats, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said Feb. 13. Speaking during AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Carlisle said the combat air force is working to get training concurrency up to the level needed and improve “tied to live” efforts, where simulators are queued to partner with live-fly exercises. For example, Carlisle noted, an E-8 JSTARS simulator at Kirtland AFB, N.M., does just this with events at Nellis AFB, Nev. “Given the capabilities of adversaries and the classification requirements, more and more of the highest fidelity is in the virtual environment,” Carlisle said at a panel on major command priorities. As adversary capabilities improve and classification requirements rise, more and more of the highest fidelity training on Fifth Generation platforms will be virtual. One of the ways to get pilots and crews credit in this kind of environment is through the stand up of a “virtual warfare center” at Nellis where USAF will put high fidelity simulators and combine them with the combined air and space operations center, and coordinate their activities with live exercising. The concept may be expanded to Pacific Air Forces and US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, he added.