— Delivery Underway —

Calytrix and The Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre (ADSTC)

Calytrix has been the lead systems integrator in the ADSTC since 2007. Calytrix is now responsible for all the contracted 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 ADSTC is 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 are delivered in a repeatable, persistent and agile manner to the complete spectrum of Defence Synthetic Environment users. The ADSTC is 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 Australian Defence Force (ADF).

10 Whyalla Street, Fyshwick, ACT

The ADSTC 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 and development. The ADSTC forms 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 ADSTC, through four name changes and five location changes to its recent merger with the Australian Defence Simulation Office (ADSO) and the J7/8 (Training & Exercises) Branch within Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC), and Calytrix’s continued involvement with the group.

The Early Years – JP2098

Figure 1: 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 2: 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 six 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 Talisman Sabre 2009 exercise. Exercises supported during this period included:

Figure 3: DTEN Nodes
  • Establish a Joint Network for Experimentation, Simulation & Training (DTEN);
  • February: MRE RTF-4
  • May: Austere Challenge
  • May: Vital Prospect
  • June: Pitch Black
  • August: MRE MRTF-1
  • October: Swift Eagle
  • April: MRE MRTF-2
  • September: MRE OMLT-1
  • September: Coalition Virtual Flag-4
  • November: MRE MTF-1

After moves from Isa Street to a basement in the Russell Complex (R5), to offices in Fairbairn and then to HQJOC at Bungendore, Calytrix’s numbers had grown to ten personnel 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 (Army, Navy, Air force) 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 13 contractors to provide simulation, network, management, information systems and engineering support to the JCTC.

Figure 4: Deputy Chief of Joint Operations Rear Admiral Raymond Griggs, Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS) Lieutenant General Mark Evans and Director General Joint Exercises and Evaluation Air Commodore David Steele, 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 of 13 started in March 2010 and quickly set about consolidating the gains of the previous four years under a unified management structure.

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 on supported exercises, technical reach and connectivity within the ADF and with the US. This period also saw a significant growth in numbers for Calytrix as the original team of 13 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 since 2010. These enhancements to the JCTC’s capabilities have resulted in a significantly richer ADF training environment and have also ensured that, on a personal, organisational and technical level, the JCTC has 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 now ensures that Australia and the US can collaborate far more effectively and that JLVC effects can be generated from either side to deliver the desired training outcomes seamlessly.

The development of the JCTC and its capabilities over this period is 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 – Reorganisation

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, over the preceding three years had included planning and JLVC support to:

  • 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
  • Pozieres Prospect
  • MRE MTF-5
  • CTU-4 MRA
  • Coalition Virtual Flag-4
  • MRE ATF-1
  • Pozieres Prospect
  • MRE ATF-2
  • Talisman Saber 2013

By November 2012, the Commonwealth had decided that the range of services being provided extended beyond the original scope of the SSS contract and that tenders would be let for the provision of management, exercise support, governance and systems support. In the first half of 2013 a range of tenders were released and Calytrix was successful in securing contracts for:

  • The Manager Systems,
  • Governance Services, and
  • Exercise Planning and Support Services.

Additional single-person contracts were also let for the Manager Plans and Manager Operations. Along with the 22 Calytrix staff under the SSS contract, this brought Calytrix’s contribution to the JCTC to 34 people by August 2013.

At the same time, the Commonwealth made a decision to extend Calytrix’s SSS contract until November 2013 in order to mitigate the risk associated with the development and delivery of support to Talisman Sabre 2013, and for similar reasons (risk and past performance), the SSS contract was subsequently extended until August 2015.

A New Organisation

The Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre (ADSTC) was 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 are a number of contracted staff within the organisation, it is a military unit within the Joint Operations Command. The broad structure of the ADSTC is as follows:

Figure 5: ADSTC Structure

As the ADSTC establishes its role and capabilities, there are a number of challenges facing the ADF which require 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 will play a key role in delivering against these expectations as noted by the current 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.”

As at the end of 2013 Calytrix has 38 full time employees within the ADSTC covering all aspects of management, technical support, governance and exercise planning. Both Calytrix and ADSTC have shared a journey of personnel growth and increased capability over the past seven years. 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 contracts in place the ADSTC and Calytrix will continue their partnership to deliver high quality collective training.

1LVC stands for the integration of Live, Virtual and Constructive technologies into one seamless event. Live training, refers to people and units actually performing an exercise mission. Virtual refers to crews participating in the exercise by using simulators such as flight or bridge simulators. Constructive refers to computer-aided simulations that can stimulate a wider span of forces playing out on a computer screen.