NSWC Dahlgren Leads Team To New Milestones

Friday, June 14, 2002
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren's Combat Direction Systems Activity (CDSA) in Dam Neck, Va. and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) achieved several significant new milestones in computer simulation support of live exercises during the recent Exercise Foal Eagle. CDSA led a team of government and private industry partners in designing and fielding a system which linked Curtis Wilbur, while operating at sea, to a widely distributed computer simulation already providing interactive training support to shore-based air and missile defense units in the Korean peninsula. This was done without impeding the ship's mobility or its ability to train in other warfare areas during the exercise. The air and missile defense simulation used two computer systems -- Interactive Constructive Environment (ICE) and Cooperative Air and Missile Defense Exercise Network (CAMDEN) -- designed to present user systems with a realistic depiction of the aircraft and missiles expected in an area of conflict. The key benefit a coordinated simulation such as ICE/CAMDEN brings is that numerous units see the same targets and the results of engagements all at the same time, and they must adjust their behaviors to fit the developing tactical situation. In the case of joint exercises such as Foal Eagle, units must also learn to operate with units from other services, thereby enhancing interoperability among the services. In previous exercises using ICE and CAMDEN, Navy participation was limited because the CAMDEN network is based on terrestrial communications links among stationary training and simulation sites. This would require an AEGIS cruiser or destroyer to remain pierside during the simulation - an impracticality during a major exercise like Foal Eagle. CDSA's goal was to come up with a way to integrate an AEGIS ship into the CAMDEN simulation network, without impeding the ship's mobility or its ability to train in other warfare areas during the exercise. Using Ku Band (10-15 gigahertz) satellite communications, the team successfully linked Curtis Wilbur's Battle Force Tactical Training System(BFTT) with the shore-based CAMDEN network. This was the first time Ku Band was installed and used aboard ship and the first time a ship used it for exchange of exercise simulation and control data. All of this was done while the ship was fully engaged in the rest of the naval force live exercise play in anti-air, undersea, amphibious, electronic and anti-surface warfare and naval surface fire support mission areas.

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