Army Needs Science to Boost Training

Army Needs Science to Boost Training

Photo by: U.S. Army/Markus Rauchenberger

The Army is returning “to the science of large-scale combat operations,” with training that is “hot, sweaty and intense,” said Col. Charles Lombardo, deputy commander of the Army’s Combined Arms Center-Training.

The idea, he said, is to force soldiers and their leaders to deal with simultaneous enemy actions in training that is “the key to building readiness across our formations.”

“Live training is the final gate before we enter the crucible of combat,” he said during a Warriors Corner presentation that was part of AUSA Now, the 2020 virtual annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. “It is imperative that we require tough, realistic and vigorous training.”

It isn’t always easy because it isn’t supposed to be, he said, describing it as “ruthless repetition” intended to give soldiers confidence on a real battlefield. 

The Army needs to do better, he said. Current training replicates only about 60% of what soldiers could face. More realism is needed, and it is needed within about five years. 

With incoming fire possible at faster than the speed of sound, the Army needs to find a way of replicating that threat so soldiers can learn to react. They need to sense what is coming so they can be prepared to use their own capabilities to block or defeat it, Lombardo said.

“We need to ensure we have the right kind of practice so we can fight and win,” he said. Solving this will involve new technologies, particularly with synthetic training, he said, as he called on help from industry and from within the Army for new training concepts.