Colonel Scott Gilman, Deputy Director of the Army Modeling & Simulation Office (AMSO), was interviewed by Group Editor Marty Kauchak.
AMSO serves as the Department of the Army's lead activity to: Develop the strategy and policy for Army Modeling and Simulation Enterprise; Execute effective governance and resource management through leadership and synchronization; Lead coordination of the Army modeling and simulation enterprise and cross-community areas including Joint, Inter-government, Interagency, and Multinational environments; and Train, Educate and Manage the Army Analysis, Modeling & Simulation M&S Workforce (Military and Civilian).
MS&T Magazine: Describe the status of the Army M&S portfolio.
Col. Gilman: Army M&S is a growth community and a dynamic community. The advent of the Army Futures Command restructured some of our analysis and experimentation organizations and brought them under ‘one umbrella’. The reorganization has incited a synergy between these organizations, allowing them to complement one another even more as we move forward. The advent of the Cross Functional Team (CFT), has incited a team dynamic among the requirements developer, the acquisition arm and industry; bringing the three together in a tighter relationship, and allowing for the iterative development of requirements with frequent touch points with the end user - our Soldiers. Key to success is the M&S that is included in these processes.
MS&T: We recall there are eight CFTs, with MS&T being most familiar with the Synthetic Training Environment.
Col. Gilman: Yes, all CFTs use M&S to help them achieve their goals. The STE is a key example of how those ‘touch points’ with the users has been key to ensuring that the product that will be delivered are based on requirements that are informed by our Soldiers throughout the development and acquisition process.
MS&T: I would expect AMSO’s highest degree of interface is with the STE CFT.
Col. Gilman: We’re definitely ‘closely nested’ with them by maintaining touch points the STE CFT proper, the Army capability managers (at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas) and PEO STRI, the acquisition arm. We also maintain close ties with the other CFTs – as evidenced by their participation in last week’s [week of 03 February] 5th Army M&S Forum. The forum’s goal remains to bring together all the M&S communities’ representatives, Army Futures Command, industry, and academia, to ensure we are all working complementary to each other’s efforts as we move forward together.
MS&T: And the 2020 M&S Forum’s theme or focus?
Col. Gilman: Our focus this year was, “Alignment of the Army M&S Enterprise and the Future Force Modernization Enterprise”. We’re trying to make sure our modernization efforts are complemented by our M&S Enterprise. While some of the M&S enterprise in inherently nested within Army Futures Command and, by design, focused on modernization, there are still agencies – Center for Army Analysis, Army Test and Evaluation Command, and Army Operational Test Command – that are outside AFC proper. We’re all still focused on the overarching Army goals of modernization and readiness. A key forum highlight was a Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) briefing from the Future Concepts Center, part of Army Futures Command, which helped ensure all stakeholders had a common “focus point” as we moved forward with the week’s engagements.
MS&T: Please give MS&T readers a few instances of how M&S will support MDO.
Col Gilman: That’s a challenge that is being addressed at different levels. Our M&S community is a continuum, so to speak, with science and technology research on the far left of the line. As you move to the right, you’ll encounter research and development, and then acquisition and finally, the fielding and training of those capabilities. One of the things the Army M&S Enterprise is working towards is how we best represent, from both the friendly and enemy perspectives, all the facets of MDO. Key to this wide reaching effort is keeping a consistent representation across the continuum of M&S; from the left of the continuum – science and technology, and research and development – how to model the facets of MDO in these early phases and carrying them forward into the acquisition and training phases. One project the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is working on is the Digital Engineering Concept. The goal being to provide a mechanism to capitalize on a continuum of M&S capabilities developed and refined throughout the life cycle of a program.
MS&T: It appears we’re also seeing a number of technology underpinnings – Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence and others – in Army M&S efforts.
Col. Gilman: One aspect is the challenge of how to effectively model those different facets – AI, machine learning and others – in a way that will inform our leadership to make decisions, whether those decisions concern acquisitions or are part of a training event. Another aspect is leveraging these to capitalize on the immense amount of historical data that we generate to inform decisions.
MS&T: With this and other challenges you have presented, it appears there will continue to be huge opportunities for the simulation & training industry to support Army M&S.
Col Gilman: Indeed, I would offer one of the challenges we have is the Enterprise level management of our simulations. Each of our M&S enabled organizations across our M&S Enterprise has purview of the tools that allow for their mission success. A challenge faced is the ability for the results of one to be ingested and carried forward to the next level. So, yes, there are opportunities for industry to help us, the Army, shepherd these capabilities through the program lifecycle and, ideally, enable the reuse of the capabilities by future efforts and programs.
MS&T: Highlight AMSO’s activities with US allies and friends.
Col. Gilman: We are working with the UK Defence Academy on developing a war gaming in support of current operations course. War gaming expertise is typically held within the planning elements of a division or corps – the G-5s, J-5s. As we get field feedback, we learn there is a training requirement to help with war gaming in the current operations part of the staff. We sent a team to the academy to glean lessons learned from what they do in their course offering. Our team is working toward implementing a pilot course later this year.
MS&T: Beyond nation-to-nation collaboration, are there specific activities at the organization level – NATO specifically?
Col. Gilman: We’re working with the NATO Modelling and Simulation Group 164 effort (Modelling & Simulation as a Service 2). We maintain a close association with them throughout the year and we make certain we stay closely tied to their efforts to make sure we complement each other as we move forward.
MS&T: Highlight other AMSO activities that MS&T should be attentive to, perhaps even into early 2021.
Col. Gilman: We’re working with the Army Geospatial Center to identify a ‘3D data container’ with an application programming interface that will allow both our training systems and our operational systems to seamlessly operate at the geospatial data level.
MS&T: What will be some of deliverables for Army training audiences from this project?
Col. Gilman: This will be an enabling capability for the One World Terrain (OWT) effort. One World Terrain is a STE CFT effort that will provide a platform for units and organizations to obtain the terrain data they need by a means that currently takes months to create. The Army Geospatial Center is a key partner with the STE CFT in this effort to enable the OWT program to provide the terrain required at the point of need.
MS&T: This has been a brief, but wide-ranging, informative interview. Thanks for your time.
Col. Gilman: You are quite welcome. We appreciate MS&T’s continued interest in AMSO and the US Army’s M&S activities and programs.