Army Training:

Commanders Lack Guidance and Training for Effective Use of Simulations

NSIAD-93-211: Published: Aug 23, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's use of simulations in training programs, focusing on whether the Army: (1) has an effective strategy to incorporate simulations into its training programs; and (2) has adequate controls to ensure that only approved simulations are developed and acquired.

GAO found that: (1) although the Army has developed a strategy to incorporate simulations into its training programs, it lacks adequate guidance for unit commanders to plan the most effective use of simulations; (2) the strategy does not identify which simulations apply to the units' specific wartime tasks; (3) the Army Training and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC) professional development courses do not contain sufficient information on the availability and applicability of simulations; (4) TRADOC courses do not train officers on the use of simulations they are likely to encounter during their unit assignments; (5) unit commanders' training guidance varies widely and is directly related to the availability of field training resources; and (6) the Army has strengthened controls to ensure that only approved simulations are developed, acquired, and used in training programs.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has implemented an Automated Systems Approach to Training program. According to DOD, the program will allow unit trainers access to databases that link available training resources, including simulations, to training tasks.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct TRADOC to modify the Combined Arms Training Strategy, or develop an alternative means, to link simulations with specific wartime tasks.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army National Simulation Center has prepared a plan to integrate simulation training into all levels of officer training. Finalization and implementation of the plan is projected by FY 1995. In the interim, all future battalion commanders are introduced to key simulations during their pre-command course. Also, the National Simulation Center has developed a 4-hour course for the School for Advanced Military Studies, and a 12-hour course for the Command and General Staff College.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct TRADOC to modify its professional development curricula to include instruction on the use of simulations, their linkage with specific wartime tasks, and techniques to incorporate those simulations into unit training plans.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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