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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

US Army National Guard buying FlexTrain instrumented live training system

04 March 2019
A screenshot of the ORION EXCON and analysis software in the Ravenswood FlexTrain system, showing exercise activity, with live video and entity identification tag. The exercise timeline is along the bottom. Source: Giles Ebbutt

The US Army National Guard is buying two additional sets of Ravenswood Solutions' FlexTrain instrumented live training system under a USD39.9 million contract that includes a five-year licence to use the Ravenswood ORION exercise control (EXCON) software.

FlexTrain is a rapidly deployable, GPS-based instrumentation system that tracks vehicles, units, and individual participants during training exercises or testing events, monitors and records all exercise combat activity, and provides an after-action review (AAR). It is designed to be used with multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES) tactical engagement simulation (TES) equipment.

The individual trainee communications equipment is the First Responder Enhanced Dismounted Instrumentation (FREDI-2), which is integrated with the MILES harness and includes GPS. It can also be installed on vehicles. FREDI-2 has a positional reporting update rate of between 0.5 seconds and 3.75 seconds, providing a smooth rendering of locations in the EXCON system.

An additional Local Data Storage (LDS) Module for FREDI-2 was developed and allows data to be stored on an internal SD card if the network is unavailable; this can also be used for non-networked training, with the locational and activity data uploaded on completion of training for AAR. Under typical conditions this can record up to 350 days of data.

The ORION EXCON and AAR software records and provides a real-time view of all activity down to an individual level in 2D and 3D, including MILES shot direction and detection. It captures all tactical radio traffic and provides on-demand video of exercise activity where available. The exercise timeline can be bookmarked for subsequent AAR and analysis.

For the latest contract, Ravenswood will provide the Army National Guard with two additional brigade-sized systems, consisting of individual trackers for personnel and vehicles, the communications and networking hardware required to operate the systems over areas up to 6,400 sq km in size, and the ORION software.

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