Army combining war game simulations into single app

'The real purpose of OneSAF was to replace many simulations with one so we wouldn't have to keep enhancing or replacing lots of different war games.'

'Lt. Col. John R. 'Buck' Surdu, Product Manager for OneSAF

The Army is taking its war game training to a new level by replacing eight disparate modeling and simulation training systems over the next several years with the $50 million One Semi-Automated Forces Objective System.

The Marine Corps also is allocating funds this fiscal year to join the program. And some international users are also considering employing the system, officials said.

Army and Marine Corps trainers, engineers and researchers will use OneSAF for a variety of functions, including creating computer-generated enemy forces, simulating enemy attacks and predicting behavior.

Although still in development, the program will touch all levels of Army simulation training by the end of fiscal 2006. OneSAF also was chosen to be the embedded simulation engine for the Army's $14.9 billion Future Combat System program.

'It's supposed to go to every battalion, every brigade, battle simulation center, every laboratory,' said Lt. Col. John R. 'Buck' Surdu, product manager for OneSAF. 'It will be on every FCS platform as part of the training component that will enable embedded training in FCS.'

'We're spending a lot of money to build simulation. Over time, it will be cheaper for the Army. We will only have to create that vehicle once,' Surdu added.

FCS, which will be fielded in 2010, will link 18 manned and unmanned advanced warfighting ground and air vehicles and sensors on a single network.

OneSAF is being developed for the Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training & Instrumentation in Orlando, Fla. 'The real purpose of OneSAF was to replace many simulations with one so we wouldn't have to keep enhancing or replacing lots of different war games,' Surdu said.

Previously, each of the three Army modeling and simulation areas'Training Exercises and Military Operations; Advanced Concepts and Requirements; and Research, Development and Acquisition'ran its own simulation programs, Surdu said.

Depending on how soldiers use OneSAF, the training can be different. Its uses run the gamut from field exercises to laboratory and classroom settings.

For example, Surdu said OneSAF would provide simulation of individual battlefield components, such as tanks and helicopters.

Tom Radgowski, program manager of OneSAF for Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, the architecture and integration contractor on OneSAF, said the app is being developed in a flexible, integrated fashion using secure Web tools and open-source software. It will run on Linux, Sun Solaris and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The OneSAF program, in its second iteration, is being tested at 30 sites across the Army, Radgowski said. The version being tested has 1.9 million lines of code, Surdu said, a number he expects to nearly double by the time the system reaches full operational capability.

At the recent Systems and Software Technology Conference in Salt Lake City, the Defense Department and CrossTalk magazine recognized the program as one of 2003's five top DOD software programs.

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