I/ITSEC 2017: Looking Back on the Show and How Industry has Shaped it

I/ITSEC 2017

I/ITSEC 2017 has come and gone and it’s safe to say the Modern Military Training team had an exceptionally educational and enlightening week learning about what we can expect to come for future military training programs.

As mentioned in our discussion with NTSA President RADM Robb before the show, this year’s theme was “Harnessing New Technologies to Win in a Complex World,” and we certainly saw that exemplified across the show floor. With an increased focus on interoperable technology and interconnectedness across the industry and service branches, more effective and comprehensive training programs are being created, especially due to strategic collaborations in the industry.

While on site, Modern Military Training spoke with several industry experts about the trends they noticed that really stood out at the show this year, along with how they’ve seen I/ITSEC evolve as an important event in the training and simulation community over the years.

We were able to capture insights from show veterans like Nick Gibbs, VP and General Manager of Simulation and Training Solutions at Rockwell Collins, who spoke to the evolution of the technologies seen on the show floor and the ever-changing problems they are solving (e.g. operating across domains). He stated, “We’re really moving more and more towards the integrated Live, Virtual, Constructive environment and that needs enabling technologies to exist.”

Gene Colabatistto, President of the Defense and Security Group of CAE, touched on how new technologies are extremely network-centric now and interconnectivity has become a main element for integrating cutting edge training technology. Colabatistto explained these trends in interconnectivity when he said, “What I’m seeing is a lot of the technologies and the customers and the companies are focusing on making their systems interoperate with those from other companies.”

Raytheon’s Strategic Capture Lead in Cyber Training Environment, Howard Miller, also touched on the impressive increase in virtual training systems present on the floor and how every year it grows. “It’s gone a lot from just live, constructive training to more virtual, so if you see the floor today, it’s completely different than it was before.” Henry Jackson, Portfolio Manager for Maritime Training Solutions at CSRA supported that sentiment when he commented on the impressive fidelity of demonstrations found on the floor this year.

From a more R&D-focused perspective, Michael Wright, Director of Proposal Development at JANUS Research Group, commented on the growth in immersion at the show over the last few years: “[There’s] a much deeper level of immersion in training systems, kind of trying to suspend disbelief. Disconnect you from reality and really put you in the training environment.”

Rockwell Collins’ Principal Business Development Manager in LVC, Steven “Snak” Nakagawa, provided a unique perspective for Modern Military Training, with this being his first time at I/ITSEC as an industry attendee as opposed to an attendee with the Navy. “What I’ve seen as I’ve transitioned to industry now is there are a lot of industry partners that work very hard to produce their training systems capabilities, and being able to get their customers to actually understand what their benefit is…that’s what I’ve seen change [for me].”

However, even though there is a massive amount of new technology to be integrated and utilized, Young Bang, SVP at Booz Allen Hamilton, felt that there “needs to be an accelerant for the adoption of new technologies.” His team was there to really explore what elements are needed to drive that adoption.

All said and done, all of these attendees were there to really gain a better understanding of how training and simulation programs can continue progress in the mission of training as you fight. Watch the video below to learn more from these industry thought leaders about their experiences at I/ITSEC 2017:

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