With the live I/ITSEC 2020 being cancelled and transforming to a virtual event, vIITSEC, MS&T’s Chuck Weirauch looks back at the virtual TSIS held in June and reviews its participation and content and provides a contract opportunities chart for MS&T readers.

Undaunted by the Covid-19 crisis, the success of the virtual 2020 Training and Simulation Industry Symposium (TSIS) held online in June provided a major demonstration as to how networked information-sharing can help provide the solutions to physical limitations. During the three-day event, leading procurement officials from the primary US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine training organizations provided the latest in contract opportunity information from their headquarters’ locations with more than 700 TSIS industry representatives. As a nearly 15-year participant in the TSIS event, I can say that this year’s show at least equaled the past few years’ level of participation and the quality of the presentations.

Air Force in Force and the Warfighter’s Digital Twin

The Air Force had more presence at this TSIS than ever before, with three Service presenters kicking off Day 1. Leading off was Paul Waugh, Program Executive Officer and Director for the Agile Combat Support Directorate at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. His Directorate provides management for 271 acquisition, sustainment military sales, and rapid prototyping programs for the Service, he pointed out.

“We need to place an emphasis in building a brand for Agile Combat Support,” Waugh emphasized. “The key to accomplishing goal is the development of solid innovation across the Air Force.”

One area of concentration for such innovation is Agile Software Development, Waugh pointed out. With such tools, incorporating aircraft operations data into simulators can be done within six months, not the conventional two years, he said. To also provide the basis for such innovation, the Service also needs to have more government-owned open architectures so that rapid changes can be made to aircraft and simulator systems. Waugh also advocated the incorporation of animated digital logistics through digital engineering, and leveraging the latest gaming technologies, he summed up.

Colonel John Kurian, Senior Materiel Leader and Chief of the Simulators Division, Agile Combat Directorate, told the TSIS participants that his division has supported $3 billion in contract activity over 2018, 2019 and 2020. His goal was to gain more recognition for his organization, stating that he wants it to be known as the “front door” for simulation for the Air Force. He also echoed Waugh’s call for more innovation to make sure that the Service can provide a training environment that is concurrent with weapons systems, as is called for in the Air Force Operational Training Infrastructure 2035 Flight Plan document.

 “We have to have the ability to become the Warfighter’s Digital Twin by simulating the entire Air Force going to war,” Kurian emphasized. “We really get at the gaming industry to replicate that environment and push this concept out here. We also need to push the boundaries on innovation in terms of cloud and common architectures.”

Navy Highlights Growth and Data-Driven Decision-Making

Captain Tim Hill, Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, (NAWCTSD) said that his Command has become the leading training acquisition agency for the Navy.

“Last year at TSIS there was a definite theme of growth for us, with a 20 percent increase in workforce and contractual obligations,” Hill pointed out. “This year we have stabilized at those levels, and continue to have strong demand. In fact, we reached a billion dollars in acquisition earlier than in any year in history. Telework and flexible schedules helped during the Covid impact, and our team has been nothing short of fantastic in these uncertain times.”

With the Navy’s recent reorganization complete, the Service is preparing for the “high-end fight” in live, virtual and constructive training, Hill said.

“We have seen record numbers for training systems utilization in the Fleet,” he added. “We are moving closer towards the Star Trek Holodeck vision, with improved data-driven decision-making.”

Focus areas for the Navy remain delivering expanded training capabilities to the Fleet, including LVC-based training solutions, Hill summed up. Other areas of concentration are: continuing to develop the Service’s Life-Long Learning efforts, implementing intelligent tutoring, and developing embedded training performance assessment.

James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, provided another perspective at the TSIS via a networked Zoom interview. He said that the employment of AR and VR technology for training is helping make “our operators more self-sufficient.”

“We need to really leverage AR and VR technology for training, and use these technologies to train the crew better as they prepare for their job, and make their jobs easier for them,” Guerts stated. “It's less about the technology, and more about creative employment of the technology. But it's not just good enough to discover there is a technology solution. We have to get it around to deployment. We really need to network this all together to share and operate at network speed. We're long past the time when we can ask every organization to come up with their own solution.”

US Army Training Revolution

The next major presenter at the TSIS was Major General Maria Gervais, Director of the US Army’s Synthetic Training Environment (STE) Cross Functional Team. Her presentation was made in cooperation with the Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). According to Gervais, the STE, a component of the Army’s Future Command, will be the Service’s next revolution in training. The backbone of the STE is the development and integration of a true Live, Virtual and Constructive training environment.

“The issue is whether we have a training evolution or a training revolution,” Gervais emphasized. “Over the past five decades we have made evolutionary, incremental changes in our training, which are the results of a specific need, such as a trainer to the specific platform that has been fielded to the Force. The challenge is that most were developed using 1980s’ technology before the Internet and cloud computing. We can’t effectively replicate the operational environment for the future this way.”

“The STE Information System is the Army’s revolutionary training platform, with virtual, live and next-generation constructive training,” she summed up. “It is leading the training revolution by accelerating requirements and the development process to rapidly deliver the training capabilities to the Warfighter.”

Major Contracts Announced

The RFP for $25 billion Air Force Training Systems Acquisition IV (TSA IV) omnibus contract, under which nearly all Service training and simulation contracts will be issued, was expected to be issued in November 2020, but that announcement may be delayed. The previous such contract, TSA III, was awarded to multiple companies in September 2015. No specific update information in regard to the TSA IV was announced at TSIS 2020, except that the contract Need date was cited as April 2022, with the RFP to be released sometime in the 2020/2021 timeframe. A December 2022 award date is possible.

The Navy’s primary contracting vehicle for training product maintenance and upgrade, the Fielded Training Systems Support (FTSS), is up for renewal. The $1billion FTSS V multiple award contract RFP is scheduled for release during the second quarter of FY 2021, with an award in the fourth quarter of FY 2021.

The RFP for the Army’s $957 million Cyber Training, Readiness, Integration, Delivery and Enterprise Technology (CYBER-TRIDENT) eight-year contracting vehicle, announced at last year’s TSIS, was pushed out until the third quarter of 2020, with a contract award date of 3Q FY 2021.

PEO STRI’s Gunnery Training Systems contract, announced last year at the TSIS, is now a completely new, seven-year, ID/IQ competitive procurement contract vehicle with an estimated contract value of $340 million. The new RFP is scheduled for release during the 4th quarter of 2020, with an award planned for 4Q/22.


 

2020 TSIS Contract Opportunities Chart

Contracts listed in the order they were presented at TSIS 2020 (Sole source, International, awarded and Imminent Award Contracts not listed)

NAWCTSD

Contract Title

Value

RFP Date         

Award Date       

Contact

Fielded Training Systems Support V

$1 billion    

2Q/FY21        

4Q/FY21           

robin.wieickhorst@navy.mil

E2-D Hawkeye Integrated Training System 1V

$390M    

Jun/20           

3Q/FY21               

brian.hicks@navy.mil

Aviation Courseware Development

$100M       

Sep/20             

2Q/FY21            

brian.hicks@navy.mil

P-8A Technology Refresh (Jacksonville NAS)

$100M     

3Q/FY22          

1Q/FY23               

brian.hicks@navy.mil

P-8A Training Systems Increment 3 Aircrew Retrofits

$100M       

May/20           

3Q/FY21              

brian.hicks@navy.mil

P-8A Whidbey Island Tech Refresh

$100M   

3Q/FY23           

3Q/FY 24              

brian.hicks@navy.mil

E-6B Training Systems Tech Refresh

$6M        

2/Q FY20         

1Q/FY21            

brian.hicks@navy.mil

P-8A Training Systems Inc 3 Maintenance Rfits

$15M     

2Q/FY 21          

3Q/FY22               

brian.hicks@navy.mil

H-60 Maintenance Trainer Tech Refresh

$6M       

1Q/FY21          

1Q/FY22               

brian.hicks@navy.mil

MH-60 R RAN Operator/Maintenance Concurrency

TBD           

2Q/FY20          

3Q/FY20               

brian.hicks@navy.mil

F/A-18 C/D Simulated Aircraft Maint. Train.

$12M    

3Q/FY21             

1Q/FY23             

brian.hicks@navy.mil

F/A-18 E/F/G Maintenance Training Tech Ref.

$12M     

3Q/FY21             

1Q/FY23              

brian.hicks@navy.mil

F/A-18 E/F/G Technology Refresh

$25M     

1Q/FY22             

1Q/FY23               

brian.hicks@navy.mil

KC 130J Fuselage Trainer & Observer Train Aid

$19.5M     

Nov/21               

May/22                 

brian.hicks@navy.mil

KC 130J Weapons System Trainer and Cockpit Procedures Trainer Procurement  

$33.5M     

Feb/22                    

August/22          

brian.hicks@navy.mil

CNATRA T-45C Pensacola OFT Tech Refresh

TBD    

4Q/FY22            

2Q/FY 23     

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

CNATRA T-45C VTMS Aircraft &Sim Align.

$45M        

Jun/2020            

2Q/FY21        

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

CNATRA Multi-Crew Simulator Block 2 Mod

$7.5M       

4Q/FY21            

2Q/FY22        

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

F-16 Technology Refresh

$7M

4Q/FY22           

2Q/FY23          

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

MQ-8 Technology Refresh

$25M          

4Q/FY23          

2Q/FY24         

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

F-5N Technology Refresh

$7M            

4Q/FY 24         

2Q/FY25         

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

Parachute In-Water Release Trainer Upgrade

$4M

4Q/FY20           

1Q/FY21         

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

Tower Simulation System Block Upgrade

$5M            

1Q/FY20             

2Q/FY20        

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

Helicopter Recue Hoist Trainer

$4.4M         

1Q/FY20          

2Q/FY20          

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

Air Traffic Navigation, Integration, Coordination

$5M

1Q/FY21          

2Q/FY21          

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

Precision Approach Radar Upgrade

$5M            

1Q/FY22           

2Q/FY22         

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

Landing Signal Officer Trainer Upgrade

TBD 

TBD//FY22      

TBD/FY22       

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

USMC Aviation Distributed Virtual Training Environment (ADVTE) Tech Upgrade

$40M          

Jul/2020        

2Q/FY21          

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

AV-8B Maintenance Trainer Refresh

$2.5M         

June 2020      

Mar 2021            

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

AV-8B Deployable Mission Rehearsal Trainer

$6M             

June 2021      

Mar 2021            

lisa.m.sullivan1@navy.mil

Fielded Training Systems Support (FTSS) V

$1.75B         

2Q/FY21        

2Q/FY22        

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

Pilot and Aircrew Courseware E-2/C-2 LSO

$5M            

July/20           

3Q/FY21         

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

Pilot and Aircrew Courseware USV/USMC

$12M           

1Q/22             

2Q/FY22         

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

Pilot and Aircrew Courseware Maritime

$10M

1Q/22             

2Q/FY22          

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

USMC Aviation Training Systems COM/CIS

$125M

3Q/FY20         

1Q/FY21          

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

Contractor Instructional Services, Atlantic

$90M     

1Q/FY21       

3Q/FY21        

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

F/A-18 COMS/CIS

$107M            

July/20          

2Q/FY21         

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

CNATRA COMS

$20M              

3Q/FY21       

1Q/FY22          

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

CNATRA CIS

$140M

3Q/FY22       

2Q/FY23          

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

Maritime COMS

$80M             

1Q/FY22       

3Q/FY22         

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

Naval Aviation Technical Training Center

$16M                

3Q/22

1Q/FY23          

robin.wieckhorst@navy.mil

LCS Mission Bay Trainer Tech Refresh

$10M      

2Q/FY20      

1Q/FY21          

paul.honold@navy.mil

Advanced Computer-based Training Systems Multi-award

$200M   

1Q/FY21        

1Q/FY22

paul.honold@navy.mil

 

PEO STRI

 

 

 

 

 

Target and Threats Hardware for Readiness Evaluation and Testing System (New)

$954M      

May/20

May/22        

PM-ITTS

Cyber Training, Readiness, Integration, Delivery And Enterprise Technology (CYBER TRIDENT)

$957M                    

3Q/FY20       

3Q/FY21            

PM-ITTS 

Intelligence & Electronic Warfare Tactical Proficiency Trainer II

$200M                    

Oct/20          

1Q/22              

PM-ITTS

Aerial Targets Flight Services 3

$107M                     

2Q/20           

2Q/21              

PM-ITTS

Army Ground Aerial Target Control System

$49.5M                    

4Q/FY20      

3Q/FY21          

PM-ITTS

Target Management Office Ops & Services

$410M                     

1Q/FY21       

1Q/FY22         

PM-ITTS

Combat Training Center Tower Efforts

$21M                        

3Q/FY20       

4QFY20

PM Soldier Training

Gunnery Training Systems (GTS)

$340M                       

4Q/FY20        

4Q/FY21      

PM Soldier Training

Maritime Integrated Training System

TBD                              

Q/FY20        

4Q/FY20      

PM TRADE

System Enhancement Package (SeP2)

TBD                              

3Q/FY20       

4Q/FY20     

PM TRADE