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).
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
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.
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:
- 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
- SOTG MRE
- 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.
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: