Calytrix and the J7

— Delivery Underway —

CALYTRIX AND THE J7 - JOINT COLLECTIVE TRAINING BRANCH (JCTB)

Calytrix has been involved in the in the J7 – Joint Collective Training Branch (JCTB) since 2007, both as the lead systems integrator and the lead operational planners. The organisation has been in existence for over 13 years and has continually evolved to meet changing simulation and training demands within the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) collective training requirements. From an initial project set up, through the establishment of the JCTC, to ADSTC and now as the Joint Collective Training Branch (JCTB) - J7 of the Joint Operations Command Headquarters (JOC), Calytrix has been intimately involved throughout. Calytrix remains responsible for technical, operational planning and governance aspects of delivering high level joint and combined training to the J7 branch of Headquarters Joint Operations Command.

The vision for the initial Joint Collective Training Capability (JCTC) was the realisation of a mature systems centre capable of providing effective governance, trained simulation and exercise support workforce, applications and services that underpin a synthetic environment that supports the delivery of a challenging and complex environment. These services were to be delivered in a repeatable, persistent and agile manner to the complete spectrum of Defence Synthetic Environment users. As the organisation has developed it has been responsible for developing and delivering synthetic training environments for Defence Joint and Combined training activities and promoting the use of modelling and simulation in support of broader Defence activities. It is a complex organisation that brings together a range of systems, applications and experience to provide world class training design and effect to the ADF.

Figure 1: 10 Whyalla Street, Fyshwick, ACT

The J7- JCTB is a truly blended workforce which incorporates uniformed ADF exercise and planning staff, Australian Public Service (APS) members and a relatively large contracted work force who provide the bulk of the systems technical support, development and exercise planning. The JCTB always formed the J7 (Training) Branch of the Joint Operations Command at Bungendore. The organisation is headed by a military One Star (Brigadier equivalent) officer who works directly to the Chief of Joint Operations. The ADSTC is currently located in leased premises at 10 Whyalla Street, Fyshwick, ACT.

The following provides a brief overview of the history of the JCTB, through five name changes and five location changes and Calytrix’s continued involvement with the group.

The Early Years – JP2098

Figure 2: Donald Rumsfeld (right) and Australian Minister for Defence Robert Hill (left) sign a Memorandum of Understanding on joint combined training.

Beginning life as Joint Project 2098, the Joint and Combined Training Capability (JCTC) was established in 2006 as a joint Australian/US initiative to demonstrate capabilities for the Talisman Sabre 2007 Exercise. Consultations were held between the then-Defence Minister Robert Hill and his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, back in July 2004 to develop the concept. That concept, which envisaged Australian defence training centres at Shoalwater Bay in Queensland along with the new Bradshaw Training Area and Delamere Weapons Range in the Northern Territory upgraded and linked to training centres in the United States, became an effective reality when the JCTC was established and delivered a range of support to the Australian/US Talisman Sabre Exercise in 2007.

As the first phase of the JCTC, Joint Project 2098 delivered an initial operating capability (and US proof of concept) in support of Exercise Talisman Sabre 07. The initial operating capability was to:

  • Establish a Joint Network for Experimentation, Simulation & Training (DTEN);
  • Establish persistent connectivity between the DTEN and the US Joint National Training Capability (JNTC);
  • Develop a joint synthetic training environment that links selected Live, Virtual and Constructive simulation systems;
  • Develop Exercise Control Management Information System to support exercise planning, conduct and evaluation; and
  • Enhance live range facilities at SWBTA through the construction of an Exercise Control Facility and an Urban Operations Training Facility.

Figure 3: Early OV1.

Calytrix was involved with the JCTC since its inception in 2006 under JP2098. Initially Calytrix provided the technical lead in the design and development of the Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) 1 synthetic environment, and also in the provision of planning, assessment and knowledge management facilities required to deliver modern Joint/Coalition training events. In 2007 Calytrix won a competitive open tender to provide all the technical support requirements for the Talisman Sabre 07 (TS07) exercise. Calytrix, as the Prime, assembled a team of Australian and International partners, Cubic Defense, CAE and Hewlett Packard to form the JCTC Support Team (JST) and delivered over 30 highly skilled simulation, network, VTC and HLA technicians into the field to support the JCTC proof of concept within the TS07 exercise.

Notwithstanding ongoing operations, Talisman Sabre was the highest profile activity for the ADF in 2007. Demonstrating the vision of a JCTC Initial Operational Capability (IOC), as first articulated in the Ministerial talks of 2004, ensured that the activity generated significant interest from senior military and government officials, from both Australia and the US. It was extremely important for the ADF to ensure that the activity was a success. The complicated and highly technical nature of the JCTC TS07 construct carried with it significant risk and Calytrix is extremely proud that both the exercise and the JCTC Proof of Concept were a resounding success.

A Maturing Capability – CMO and the JCTC

On completion of TS07, the JP2098 project was completed and the JCTC started its transition to a permanent operating capability under the newly formed Combined Management Office (CMO). During this period, Calytrix increased its role and responsibilities within the CMO by filling a number of new positions. Calytrix now had responsibility for the Interim Project Manager, Network Manager, Network Engineer and for the provision of Ancillary Support, all of whom worked alongside several other contract groups and a small ADF contingent.

The JCTC was now operating out of the ‘back of a pie shop’ in Isa Street Fyshwick with a small contracted team of Calytrix personnel and a uniformed O5 (LTCOL equivalent) as the Director. The JCTC, as a unit of HQJOC, worked within the JOC J8 Branch to further mature the ADF’s Joint Simulation capability with a particular emphasis on establishing strong connectivity with the US, supporting an increasing number of rehearsal exercises for Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) and focusing on the development of systems and requirements for the ongoing Talisman Sabre series of exercises.

A key component in enabling simulation support to collective training was the establishment and maintenance of a dedicated network: the Defence Training and Experimentation Network (DTEN). This was a focus effort in the first few years and by 2009 Calytrix had established nodes in all the major training locations.

Figure 4: DTEN Nodes, as at Dec 2009

It was however important to continue the momentum of supporting ADF collective training, in addition to Talisman Sabre. A series of exercises were identified and subsequently supported in order to further prove the capability but also to build up support and confidence from within the ADF. Exercises supported during this early period included:

2008:
  • February: MRE RTF-4
  • May: Austere Challenge
  • May: Vital Prospect
  • June: Pitch Black
  • August: MRE MRTF-1
  • October: Swift Eagle
2009:
  • April: MRE MRTF-2
  • September: MRE OMLT-1
  • SOTG MRE
  • September: Coalition Virtual Flag-4
  • November: MRE MTF-1

After moves from Isa Street to a basement in the ADF Headquarter’s Russell Complex (R5), to offices in Fairbairn and then to HQJOC at Bungendore, Calytrix’s numbers continued to grow while providing support across the simulation, network development and management information systems domains. The JCTC as an organisation had established a strong reputation in being able to develop and provide a wide range of Joint Live Virtual and Constructive (JLVC) effects at the joint and combined (Aus/US) level. Of particular note, the Defence Training and Experimentation Network (DTEN) had grown in size and complexity and now enjoyed regular (although not yet persistent) connectivity to its US counterpart the Joint Training and Experimentation network (JTEN).

2010 to 2013 – Consolidation and Growth

In late 2009 the Commonwealth decided that, in order to progress in a measured way, the services provided to the JCTC by contract staff needed to be consolidated under one prime contractor. A Request for Tender (RFT) was released in late 2009 for the provision of contractors to provide simulation, network, management, information systems and engineering support to the JCTC.

Figure 5: Senior officers watch a simulated Joint Terminal Attack Controller exercise during the opening of the JCTC.

Calytrix, supported by QinetiQ Australia tendered for the provision of Systems Support Services (SSS) to the JCTC, and in early 2010 was awarded the contract. The initial SSS team started in March 2010 and quickly set about consolidating the gains of the previous four years under a unified management structure. Calytrix management within the ADSTC worked to a uniform officer who was responsible to the J7 for exercise delivery and support.

In late 2010 the JCTC moved from HQJOC to its current home in Whyalla Street Fyshwick and was officially opened by the (then) Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston on November 23.

The next three years from 2010 to 2013 coincided with the greatest period of growth and development for the JCTC in terms of supported exercises, technical reach and connectivity within the ADF and with the US. This period also saw a significant growth in personnel numbers as the original team was expanded to cater for a growing need to provide specialist JLVC planning support as well as support to the logistic, financial and administrative aspects of the organisation.

Although a relatively small (in US terms) organisation the JCTC and the SSS team were developing and delivering world class JLVC effects and a number of firsts for the ADF’s joint simulation and training capability, including:

MUSE/AFSERS – First deployed on Pozieres Prospect
Provision of tactical training on virtual systems (ISR products)
DTEN established as a persistent network
Established persistent DTEN/JTEN connectivity
Established first TBMCS/DTEN/JTEN connection in support of Talisman Sabre 11
US MUSE deployed on DTEN for the first time in support of Talisman Sabre 11
First DSN Gateway established for Web and Text transfer in support of Pozieres Prospect 13
JCTC becomes first overseas body granted administrative access on the US secure system (CXI-TF)
US moves for persistent connectivity to CXI-TF
The first DTEN Node outside of the DSN established in Hawaii.
JCTC establishes US FMS Case – Provided access to JCATS, CXI Op Network and access for US based deployable Training Teams.
BCSS integration for the first time in support of Pozieres Prospect 13
AFTADS support using EXCIS Software to integrate AFTADS
AFTADS first deployed on RTM in support of Army
First DTEN/DSN connectivity (BLUFOR connectivity)
First C2 traffic onto DTEN and simulation traffic back to DSN in support of Pozieres Prospect 12.
JCTC Staff provide first training to Air Operations Centre (AOC) in support of Pozieres Prospect 12
CXT Suite – JCTC SSS Team stood up the Mission Emulation Network inside three months to provide training support to MRE activities.
Introduction of satellite terminals to provide deployable DTEN nodes.
Provided HQJOC with UNCLAS iPad synchronisation for environmental monitoring system.
Stood up JCTC facility including the Network Operations Centre (NOC), DTEN and JDOC.
Working with CIOG/IA developed and implemented security and accreditation processes.
In-house terrain development for Pozieres Prospect 13 from a single source.
Introduction of CNR-Live enabling Amphibious TG communications and saving money over existing ASTi systems.
First integration of Land 134 into C2 picture on the DTEN
Established Data Diode between DTEN(S) and DTEN(R)
Introduction of server framework for core services
Established an accredited and vulnerability assessed Standard Operating Environment (SOE) on the DTEN
Introduced enterprise technologies into core architecture
Introduced Deployable Exercise Control Centre (DECC) and deployed as a Network Operations Centre (NOC) in support of Pozieres Prospect 13.
Joint Training Data Services (JTDS) – Provided as a service from the US. First time this had been done outside of the US
Introduction of JCATS. First team outside of US to develop and feedback JCATS SE Linux policies to the OEM.
SSS Staff recognised Beta Test Group for MUSE. In addition, SSS Staff are an accredited POC for training and development.
In house development of HUDs which have been rolled back into MUSE baseline.
First instance of DTEN being installed and operating from a foreign country (the US).
First instance of JCTC running a JCATS federate (not repeater) with the US.

While not always immediately obvious at the operational level, this short list represents a quantum increase in the reach and capability of the JCTC in a relatively short space of time. These enhancements to the JCTC’s capabilities resulted in a significantly richer ADF training environment and also ensured that, on a personal, organisational and technical level, the JCTC gained significant credibility with our allies, notably the US.

Of particular note and significance for ADF capability was the establishment of the DTEN as a persistent, supported and accredited network. Of greater significance was the work done (technical, regulatory and relational) to establish a permanent connectivity with the US JTEN. Prior to this point, the DTEN/JTEN link was established for specific exercises then ‘pulled down’ after each event. The permanent connectivity ensured that Australia and the US could collaborate far more effectively and that JLVC effects could be generated from either side to deliver the desired training outcomes seamlessly.

The development of the JCTC and its capabilities over this period was significant when viewed against the original concepts envisaged by Australia and the US. The minutes of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, 22 May 2006, stated that, ‘A mature JCTC should not be seen as a test range or even a series of ranges. The JCTC should function as a training system that links training management systems, training areas, simulations, headquarters and units. It is proposed that the JCTC should be linked to the US Pacific Command’s Pacific Warfighting Center and the US Joint Force Command’s Joint National Training Capability as part of the US Global Joint Training Infrastructure.” Clearly, the JCTC from 2010 to 2013 moved a long way towards this vision.

2013 – 2019

Over the preceding three years, the JCTC had shifted its focus away from support to development and integration of ranges to focus on JTF level training as defined in the 2012 mission statement to “….prepare designated Joint Task Force (JTF) headquarter echelons and elements for command in a realistic contemporary operating environment in order to enhance the ADF’s capability to conduct joint, inter-agency and combined operations and campaigns, and continue to support force preparation for deployment”. The mission statement was reflective of the heavy focus placed on supporting joint operational level training which, and a series of high level training events were agreed to be supported on an annual rotational basis.

Even Years:
Odd Years:
Even Years:
Odd Years:
  • Pitch Black
  • Predator Strike
  • Silicon Brolga
  • Blue Diamond
  • MRE MTF-2
  • MRE MTF - 3
  • Coalition Virtual Flag-4
  • Hamel
  • Pozieres Prospect
  • Talisman Saber 2011
  • Coalition Virtual Flag-4
  • MRE MTF-4
  • SOTG MRE
  • Pozieres Prospect
  • MRE MTF-5
  • CTU-4 MRA
  • Coalition Virtual Flag-4
  • MRE ATF-1
  • SOTG MRE
  • Pozieres Prospect
  • MRE ATF
  • Talisman Saber 2013
  • Coalition Virtual Flag
  • MRE MTF
  • SOTG MRE

In the period 2013-2016 Calytrix was providing all the complex simulation services to support the ADF’s collective training endeavours.

Figure 5: Network Structure

A New Organisation

The Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre (ADSTC) was officially formed in September 2013 after the merger of the Australian Defence Simulation Office (ADSO) within Vice Chief Defence Force Group, the J7/8 (Training & Exercises) Branch within Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) and the Joint Combined Training Capability (JCTC) also within HQJOC.

While there were a number of contracted staff within the organisation, it remained a military unit within the Joint Operations Command. As the ADSTC established its role and capabilities, there were a number of challenges facing the ADF which required a new way of looking at and supporting joint and service level training, particularly:

  • The transition from combat operations post Afghanistan,
  • The introduction of complex platforms requiring true joint training solutions,
  • Increased expectation from a training audience which has very high levels of operational experience and a desire to train using simulation,
  • Increasing platform sustainment costs, and
  • A tighter Defence budget requiring innovative ways to train and sustain capability.

The ADSTC continued to play a key role in delivering against these expectations as noted by a former CDF, General Hurley, “As Service Chiefs have a raise, train and sustain responsibility so does CDF for Joint and Combined capability. The enhanced simulation organisation under the Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre (ADSTC) is a critical enabler for the CDF to meet these preparedness responsibilities.”

In addition to Calytrix’s ongoing provision of technical support to the ADSTC and ADF training, in 2014 Calytrix won a contract to provide senior ex-military officers to assist with exercise planning. Those members, representing the three services, remain responsible for planning, designing and developing, delivering and managing scheduled live and simulated training effects for selected joint and combined exercises. Since 2014 Calytrix has supported the ADSTC in the planning and/or delivery of every J7 supported training event.

In 2016, Calytrix bolstered it’s presence within the JCTB with the provision of Instructor Controllers (ICs). The ICs are operators and trainers of simulation applications used in Joint Collective Training exercises. They specialise in one or more applications (usually US JLVC apps) and form part of the exercise control force under the Exercise Director and Senior Model Controller. They may deploy have on exercises or for planning conferences and were/are responsible to ensure system entities are providing the correct data outputs for the benefit of the training audience.

As evidenced above the ADSTC continually morphed to meet changing training and technical requirements. The organisation supported over 20 single service, joint and Whole of Government training events in 2019. As at the end of 2019 Calytrix had 27 full time employees within the ADSTC covering all aspects of management, technical support, governance and exercise planning.

2020, JP9711 AND BEYOND

At the conclusion of 2019 the ADSTC was retitled the J7 – Joint Collective Training Branch.

It was evident from about 2015 that the simulation and collective training needs of the ADF were continuing to grow at a rapid rate. In order to service that need the Commonwealth established Joint Project 9711 (JP9711) and over the past 4 years have progressed through the tender process. The tender was awarded in 2019 to Lockheed Martin Australia with Calytrix as their major delivery sub-contractor.

JP9711 continues the evolution of the ADSTC by seeking services to ‘deliver a Core Simulation Capability (CSimC) that will provide critical training support to the future force through a significant upgrade and expansion of its simulation capability (Services). This capability will enable Defence to link live and simulated training together for large scale Joint and Combined collective training and to deliver on-demand distributed mission training to the single services of the ADF and Joint Operations Command.

The CSimC to be delivered under Phase 1 of JP9711 will support collective training. Phase 1 of JP9711 will also support the potential future growth in capability and capacity including support to experimentation and force design. These outcomes will be achieved by:

  • transforming the delivery of Simulation-enabled Collective Training (SeCT) to create:
    • an effective training environment that is delivered to the point of need;
    • a system optimised for training delivery;
    • a secure environment protecting sensitive information whilst training;
    • a safer training environment;
    • an ability to increase Collective Training opportunities; and
    • an ability to easily re-run a training event and rapidly implement lessons learnt;
  • improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of Collective Training service delivery to:
    • reduce the time required to achieve and maintain readiness;
    • reduce resources required to achieve and maintain readiness;
    • maximise ADF personnel trained and prepared for operations;
    • provide more frequent service, Joint, and Combined SeCT; andprovide improved access to realistic training for ADF personnel;
  • future proofing Collective Training service delivery to:
    • allow for composable training to suit differing audience needs;
    • maintain compatibility with future decision analysis activities including experimentation and concept development;
    • develop an ICT environment that is responsive to change; and
    • increase the ability to meet Defence’s future growth and capacity requirements; and
  • delivering financial benefits to Defence by:
    • reducing capital and operating costs via the introduction of less expensive ICT Infrastructure (both to acquire and operate) to deliver SeCT;
    • ensuring the rationalisation and standardisation of ICT Infrastructure;
    • simplifying the ICT management environment;
    • enhancing Defence’s ability to leverage new technology.’

JP9711-1 is focused on the delivery of simulation over the ADF’s maturing enterprise architecture cloud infrastructure. Underpinning JP9711-1 is the transition of extant simulation services into the cloud in order to deliver on demand “Simulation as a Service” capabilities. This includes the development of reusable simulation assets as well as booking and orchestration services over a cloud infrastructure.

While JP9711 is a major component of the JCTB it is really just the group providing the Core Simulation Capability (CSimC). The entire organisation is much more diverse that the CSimC and Calytrix remains an integral component by providing:

  • Theatre Operations planning
  • Planning Subject Matter Exerts (SME): Intelligence, Targeting, Special Operations, Air Operations, Maritime Operations, Amphibious and Domestic Operations
  • Professional Interactors
  • Warehouse and Facility management
  • Operations and Exercise support
  • Simulation development
  • CSimC factory support

Both Calytrix and the JCTB have shared a journey of personnel growth and increased capability throughout the tenure of JP2098/CMO/JCTC/ADSTC/JCTB. Both are now considered leaders in the delivery of JLVC effects and supporting large scale training activities. With a new mandate, larger structure and a long term contract in place the JCTB and Calytrix will continue their partnership to deliver high quality collective, joint force training.