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US Army Synthetic Training Environment (STE)

Latest Developments

The vision for the synthetic training environment (STE) originated from discussions about the next generation training environment that began before 2016. This was in response to the US Army’s need for a future training capability to provide a realistic environment promoting interoperability, affordability, and adaptability for collective training in a multidomain operational environment.

US Army synthetic training environment (US Army/IHS Markit)

US Army synthetic training environment (US Army/IHS Markit)

The capability was originally planned for deployment starting in 2025 but rapid advances in technology and overwhelming support from army leadership increased the momentum of the programme, making fielding it possible much earlier than planned. The use of the Training and Readiness Accelerator to award other transaction agreements (OTAs) for various elements of the programme is streamlining the acquisition process to support the rapid technological development needed to propel STE forward and likely achieve initial operational capability in 2021.

Initially, the production elements for STE will include One World Terrain, which provides accurate representation of global terrain available on the army network at the point of need; training simulation software for realistic simulations as part of a single cloud-based training environment; and training management tools. These three elements together form the common synthetic environment that is the backbone of STE.

Alongside them is the reconfigurable virtual collective trainer to simulate dismounted training up through the platoon level, and the soldier and squad virtual trainer to enable training at squad level for multi-domain battle in a range of operational environments.

An industry day event was held in early March to further explore the live training environment aspect of the programme and how STE can support live force-on-force training. Initially thought to be a longer-term element of the programme, the live training environment could also be accelerated through an OTA award.

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