The 2023 Training & Simulation Industry Symposium (TSIS) hosted one of the largest in person events since 2016 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. In fact, this year’s symposium was the largest to date with over 1020 registrants. The symposium provided attendees updated information on training and simulation procurement requirements from the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines, US Army Development Command and the Defense Health Agency.
Additionally, the symposium hosted four industry panels that addressed challenges and opportunities faced by companies large and small. NDIA Central Florida chapter and NDIA Women in Defense Central Florida, along with NTSA, co-hosted the annual conference to facilitate transparency for the services and to indicate long-term business development and strategic directions for industry.
Following the welcome and opening comments by Amy Motko, Vice Chair, NTSA Executive Committee, day one was dedicated to the Sea Services which opened with the Program Manager Training Systems, USMC. Highlights included a kick-off with Col Marcus Reynolds, Program Manager, Training Systems, Marine Corps Systems Command. Synthetic Training Systems, and Range Training Systems followed and then Ms. Robyn Ingerham discussed Training Systems Sustainment and Support Services.
This year the NTSA I/ITSEC Next Big Thing committee presented an industry panel to discuss the Acquisition Insights for Generative AI in Government Training and Simulation.
The Navy followed in the afternoon with a keynote presentation from RADM Richard T. Brophy, Chief of Naval Air Training who discussed some of the challenges and opportunities the Navy foresees in the future. He was followed by the Skipper of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWC-TSD) and NSA Orlando, CAPT Tim James, who talked about the organization’s many accomplishments, organization responsibilities and how to do business in the future. CAPT James was followed by seven key acquisition and R&D leaders from the NAWC-TSD. They covered a broad range of programs and information that ranged from aviation to surface and subsurface training systems along with research and technology programs.
The second day started off with a welcome and opening remarks from Brett Ulander, Ph.D., Chair, NTSA Executive Committee. The Army organizations began with remarks from the Program Executive Officer, Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, Ms. Karen Saunders, SES. Her comments set the stage for Army Training and the continued importance of relevant and realistic training from all domains (live, virtual, and constructive).
She was followed by personnel from the program offices for Synthetic Environment (PM SE), TADSS Support Operations (PL TSO), and Cyber, Test & Training (PM CT2). Further discussions were provided by program personnel from Solder Training (PM ST), and International Programs (IPO). We also had an update on the STE-IS Platform Development Kit, Digital Engineering, and the latest PEO STRI Enterprise effort called UNITE.
Just prior to lunch Mr. Mike Harris, Executive Director of ACC-Orlando provided insight on some of the Contracting Command’s on-going efforts and conducted an in-person Program Acquisition Lead Time (PALT) session. Division Chiefs from ACC-Orlando provided updates on current acquisitions being managed by the center and fielded questions from attendees.
The afternoon sessions began with the Army Synthetic Training environment from the perspective of BG William Glaser, Director and his Cross Functional Team for the Synthetic Training Environment. This was followed by the Defense Health Agency and Mr. Jude Tomasello, Program Manager, Medical Simulation and Training Program Management Office. He discussed how the Defense Health Agency is implementing enterprise health solutions throughout the Department of Defense.
Returning this year was the U.S. Army Futures Command, DEVCOM Soldier Center with five personnel presenting research topics being pursued by the Simulation and Technology Training Center.
Also returning this year was the USAF Simulators Division out of the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. As a follow up to their recent APBI in Dayton, OH, Ms Penny Mason and Mr. Heath Morton provided updates on various Air Force platforms and initiatives being managed in their Division.
Panel sessions during TSIS 2023 focused on Maintaining Superiority Through a Resilient Defense Industrial Base, Non-Traditional MS&T Suppliers and Their Impact for the Future, Accelerated Acquisitions, and Pain Points in the Request For Proposal Process.