The U.S. Army opened a first-of-its-kind interactive training system developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation that supports the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) Satellite Communications program. The WGS constellation of military satellites delivers secure, reliable, resilient communications worldwide for the United States and partner nations.
Soldiers training to manage and monitor WGS satellite communications (SATCOM) will use the Wideband Training and Certification System (WTCS) to apply classroom learning to simulations generated from real-world events. WTCS is installed on workstations at the Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
WTCS-trained soldiers will staff the Army’s five Wideband Satellite Operation Centers (WSOCs) where they will manage satellite payloads, direct the actions of terminals accessing assigned satellites, control terminal transmissions and continuously monitor the system to protect SATCOM and maintain the health of the WGS constellation.
WTCS simulates various subsystems SATCOM controllers use daily and creates virtual instances for training. The system features guided instruction, student-paced “free-play” in a simulated environment and computer-based training modules. It also includes a learning management system to tailor and track training and a managed document and lesson repository. In addition to delivering initial occupational specialty training for WSOC operators at Fort Gordon, WTCS workstations will be installed at WSOCs for sustainment training and operator certification.
Northrop Grumman developed WTCS for the Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) and provides many of the ground systems used by the Army operators through similar development programs with the Army’s PM DCATS.
“WSOC operators have the responsibility to ensure satellite communications are always up and running. The WTCS will be an integral part of meeting that responsibility by providing training that prepares operators to handle the Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) and provides many of the ground systems used by the Army operators through similar development programs with the Army’s PM DCATS.
. WTCS offers the realistic training at an accelerated pace and a very reasonable cost,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. William E. Cole, the Program Executive Officer for PEO STRI.
Northrop Grumman was awarded the $14.8 million, five-year WTCS contract in December 2015. WTCS-related work will continue through December 2020.