The latest version of U.S. Joint Forces Command’s (USJFCOM) Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS) enables simulation operators to use a Web browser and Web-based connection to participate in JTLS joint training events.
The Web-enabled capability means that JTLS users can use existing wide area network (WAN) and local area network (LAN) connections to log on to the simulation from workstations or personal computers, according to USJFCOM officials.
“The advantage of web-enabled capability is overall cost reduction for joint exercises,” said Army Lt. Col. Andrew Riley, who heads the modeling and simulation division for USJFCOM’s Joint Warfighting Center (JWFC).
According to Riley, version 3.0 of the Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS), which USJFCOM released to its user community last month, “significantly cuts the cost of shipping computers and reduces manpower requirements at forward locations.”
Version 3.0 offers other simulation enhancements, which include:
• Greater aggregate fidelity
• Aircraft change speed
• Aircraft re-flight plan
• Refuel capabilities for tankers
Riley explained that JTLS, managed by the JWFC is a joint simulation that focuses on the operational level of war.
“It is mainly used to train JTF commanders and staffs and represents large theater or large area of operations,” said Riley. “JTLS represents ground units at an aggregate level rather than entity level. Maritime and air units are typically represented at the ship, aircraft or sortie level.”
What is new for the 3.0 version is higher fidelity ground units called high resolution units. “For example, it enhanced a SEAL team’s ability to maneuver, making them harder to detect,” he said.
JTLS improvements reflect customer upgrade requests, according to Riley. “JTLS users vote on what they would like to see in the model, then the requirements are prioritized and implemented.”
“This new version gives the training audience more training options,” said Riley.
The new version allows for more user-interface, according to officials in the modeling and simulation division. For example, the model previously didn’t allow for users to change aircraft speed, now users have that option.
“This provides more realism and greater flexibility,” said Riley.
Version 3.0 has also effectively integrated with the Joint Deployment Logistics Model (JDLM) and the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS) through the High Level Architecture (HLA).
“By federating with other simulations like JDLM and JCATS, we get the unique capabilities of another model to increase the fidelity of logistics play thus creating a better training environment for multiple training audiences,” said Riley.
According to Riley, the marriage of the these simulations provides better training to combatant commands through enhanced deployment functions, like the ability to deploy forces between theaters and inter theater.
JDLM provides another dimension of realism, according to officials. It feeds warehouse and depot information into the JTLS model and provides in transit visibility so logisticians can then see what is on aircraft and vessels.
JDLM is not a combat model, so the second advantage of linking JDLM to JTLS is that the logistics chain is now subject to combat attrition, for example users can now sink supply ships, according to officials.
Presently, the JTLS user community includes combatant commands, the services, the Naval Postgraduate School, the U.S. Army War College, the NATO C3 Agency, 12 foreign nations, among others.
Version 3.0 will be used in the following upcoming training events scheduled for this calendar year: Bright Star 06, Vigilant Shield 06, and Terminal Fury 06.
According to Riley, JTLS will continue to evolve to support the joint trainer community and USJFCOM is preparing for version 4.0, which is expected to be released in December.
U.S. Joint Forces Command