The Warrior Training Alliance ushers in a new ethos in the way the US Army trains its soldier. With a collaborative approach to both live and virtual training at its heart, the $11.2bn program looks a much slicker beast, as Claire Apthorp reports.
In 2008, the US Army took a step toward a more cohesive training solution with the award of the Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support (FOCUS) contract to the Warrior Training Alliance (WTA). This contract, worth an estimated $11.2bn over the ten-year period of its term, marked a turning point in the army’s approach to training its soldiers as it moved toward a collaborative, consolidated and streamlined training environment.
In the time since that contract award, the WTA is estimated to have saved $400m in costs while delivering over five million training events to the army across its digital ranges, Combat Training Centres, posts and stations around the globe – no small achievement in an environment beleaguered by the need to do more with less.
Prior to the FOCUS contract award, the army conducted its personnel training in a fractured and non-cohesive manner. The three main training domains at the time – live, virtual and constructive – were run by three separate primes; General Dynamics, Raytheon and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).
"At that time the US Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) was looking for ways to gain efficiencies, and they were trying to get us, General Dynamics and CSC to work together across those three domains," says Raytheon’s David Beltran. "But the logistics just didn’t allow for a lot of the contractual crossovers that were needed to identify and recognise those gains, so the concept of Warfighter FOCUS grew from that – they decided to combine the three domains and let out a single contract."
That contract was awarded to the Raytheon-led WTA.
"Since we were the owners of the live training domain we decided that we would lead the effort to prime, and we put together a four-year build of best of industry players, including capturing General Dynamics and CSC," Beltran said. ‘We built the WTA, bringing all the efficiencies, cross-utilisation analysis, centralised depot repair, and took that entire concept to the table as our offering, and that’s how the WTA came about."