O. Manpower, Personnel, and Training
The DoD Manpower, Personnel, and Training program seeks to maximize human military performance. Army science and technology investments in manpower and personnel technology address recruitment, selection, classification, and assignment of people to military jobs. It seeks to reduce the attrition of high quality personnel, supports the development of managers and leaders, and helps leadership to predict and measure the consequences of policy decisions. Army Science and Technology investments in training technology improve the effectiveness of individual and collective training, enhance military training systems, and provide more cost-effective opportunities for skill practice and mission rehearsal. Manpower, personnel, and training technologies provide efficiencies in the operation and maintenance of both current and future systems and result in increased readiness of our warfighting forces.
The U.S. Army Posture Statement (FY96) states: "To leverage [emerging digital] technology to its highest potential, the sophisticated systems of the future will demand a soldier who is intelligent, physically fit, educated, highly motivated, and well trained. Force XXI will leverage the abilities of the best soldiers in the Army's history through the use of simulations and simulator-enhanced training. As they have been since the founding of America's Army, soldiers will be the most important element of Force XXI." Intelligent selection, classification, retention, and organization of quality soldiers are necessary to maintain a stable, disciplined, well-trained fighting force. Effective individual and unit collective training strategies must be developed to meet the Army's changing roles and missions in the face of decreasing resources.
Significant advances in distributed interactive simulation (DIS) and virtual reality technologies permit the development of synthetic environments which can be used to provide realistic combat training. As reflected in the Army Modernization Plan, "Advances in the behavioral sciences are required to provide empirically-based training strategies that lead to the most cost-effective use of new training technologies."
3. Technology Subareas
Under Project Reliance the Army manpower, personnel, and training community has the DoD lead for research on:
- Human Resources
- Leader Development
- Unit Collective Training
- Rotary Wing Training
- Land Warfare Training
Research and technical challenges in these areas are described below.
a. Manpower and Personnel
Goals and Time Frames
Selection and Classification. Improved aptitude testing, coupled with more sophisticated assignment systems, reduces training time and increases quality of performance. Research to modernize and improve the Army's selection and classification capability focuses on developing methods to measure performance-related aptitudes (FY97); identifying Force XXI NCO job requirements (FY98); and developing improved methods for assessing individual attributes and performance (FY99).
Human Resources Development. This program provides products and methodologies to improve leadership in complex and ambiguous situations, support efficient career development, and improve support for soldiers and their families. Research includes investigating personnel issues related to the Reserve Component deployment in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) Sinai peacekeeping mission and active duty and RC deployments for Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia. Areas addressed include leadership, morale, training, family issues, and soldier health and well-being, as well as the impact of stability operations on commitment and retention (FY97).
Life course theory is being applied to investigate the current and long-term effects of combat, organizational, and mission changes (e.g., downsizing, peace operations, ethnic diversity, gender integration) on career commitment and development in Army leaders (FY98).
Leader Development. This research focuses on understanding, evaluating, and determining the behaviors required for effective leadership. This will be accomplished through the collection and analysis of descriptive, experiential, and empirical data tracking the careers of officer candidates and officers (FY98). In support of the Battle Command Battle Lab operational capability requirements, new technologies and interventions will be developed for improving commander and command group decision-making skills (FY98).
Major Technical Challenges
- Develop new selection techniques which cover a wider range of human abilities, as well as relate aptitude tests to performance on the (simulated) battlefield.
- Develop techniques for DoD and Army decision makers, unit commanders, soldiers, and their families to effectively adapt to organizational change.
- Identify characteristics of the most effective military leaders and develop methodologies for assessing, developing, and retaining quality leaders.
Goals and Time Frames
Unit Collective Training. The effectiveness of synthetic and DIS environments rests in large measure on the training strategies, performance measurement techniques, and performance feedback methods employed. Research goals are to develop training packages and evaluation techniques to support emerging Force XXI digital capabilities; specify the required simulation capabilities and the effective mix of live exercises with new and existing training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (FY98); determine training needs for mission planning and mission rehearsal tasks (FY98); and develop measures to assess performance and provide feedback for DIS systems, such as the Close Combat Tactical Trainer (FY98). In support of the Mounted Battlespace Battle Lab, develop training and evaluation technologies that will prepare operators and commanders to take maximum advantage of evolving digital command, control, and communication systems (FY01). Much of the research will be conducted in conjunction with the Battle Lab's advanced warfighting experiments.
Rotary Wing Training. This research uses a state-of-the-art Simulator Training Research Advanced Testbed for Aviation (STRATA) to evaluate all significant parameters of simulator design to determine their contribution to the development and retention of aviation skills. Goals include developing display resolution requirements for flight simulator-based task training (FY97), determining fidelity requirements for collective tasks in networked systems for aviation unit training (FY98), and developing aviation task training requirements for helmet mounted displays (FY98).
Land Warfare Training. Research is directed at developing guidelines for cost-effective training strategies for individual and unit training for mounted and dismounted operations, including active and reserve component units, and for stability operations. Goals are to evaluate a prototype staff training package using Force XXI command brigade and below computer-based applique systems; develop training technologies and simulations to improve the unaided eye and device aided night vision capabilities of Light Infantry units (FY98); and develop methodologies for training and assessing individual team member skills in virtual reality environments (FY98) (as shown in Figure IV-O-1).
Figure IV-O-1. Training Research in Simulated Environments. Research in the behavioral and social sciences investigates transfer of training from synthetic to actual environments. For example, an experiment demonstrated that those who rehearsed a route in a virtual environment made less navigational errors (i.e., wrong turns) when traveling through the actual building than those who only studied traditional materials (e.g., maps, photos). Of course, the best training method was practicing the route in the actual building.
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Major Technical Challenges
The Army needs to develop new training and performance measurement technologies that will allow it to effectively train the full range of individual and unit tasks within budgetary constraints. Research is needed to enhance the effectiveness of new training simulation technologies such as DIS through the development of training strategies. Research has shown that the effectiveness of training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (TADSS) is largely a function of their appropriateness to the tasks that they train, and the adequacy of performance measurement and feedback techniques. Innovative training methods need to be developed which effectively use these new tools to improve overall training effectiveness. Specific challenges include:
- Develop individual and collective training strategies which provide an effective and affordable mix of live exercises and synthetic training environments to prepare soldiers to cope with the proliferation of possible missions.
- Assess the effectiveness of DIS systems to support individual, unit collective, multi-service, and joint training and use that data to maximize training value.
- Demonstrate training strategies and performance evaluation technologies to support emerging digital technologies and the accompanying new doctrine.
4. Roadmap of Technology Objectives
The roadmap of technology objectives for Manpower, Personnel, and Training is shown in Table IV-O-1.
Table IV-O-1. Technical Objectives for Manpower, Personnel, and Training