oversight

Navy Training: Observations on the Navy's Use of Live and Simulated Training

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-06-29.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




       June 29, 2012

       Congressional Committees

       Subject: Navy Training: Observations on the Navy’s Use of Live and Simulated Training

       The Department of Defense uses live training, simulators, and other virtual training devices to
       prepare its forces to conduct military operations. Virtual training can help the services mitigate
       obstacles to training, such as the high cost of conducting live training or range access issues,
       while allowing military personnel to replicate many of the interactions and procedures they may
       encounter on the battlefield. In an effort to achieve greater efficiency, maximize training
       opportunities, and potentially reduce training costs, each military service is in various stages of
       developing concepts and training programs that mix live and synthetic training (which is how the
       Navy typically refers to training that relies significantly on simulators or virtual training devices). 1
       The Navy, in particular, believes that effective training requires an efficient balance of live and
       synthetic approaches.


       H.R. Rep. No. 112-78 (2011), which accompanied a bill for the National Defense Authorization
       Act for Fiscal Year 2012, directed GAO to review the status of the military services’ training
       programs and report the results to the House and Senate Armed Services committees. It also
       stated that in reporting on each of the services, we may take a phased approach in undertaking
       our review and reporting to the Senate and House Armed Services committees. 2 This Navy
       review is the first engagement in our phased approach, and an Air Force review is also
       underway. For this review, we assessed (1) the principles the Navy considers in determining
       whether to use live or synthetic training to meet its training requirements, (2) how the Navy’s mix


       1
        For the purposes of this report, “simulators” will be used to describe specific devices that mimic actual equipment,
       such as a flight simulator, while “synthetic training” will refer to any training that takes place in a virtual environment.
       2
        H.R. Rep. No. 112-78 (2011), which accompanied H.R. 1540, a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for
       Fiscal Year 2012.




       Page 1                                                                                 GAO-12-725R Navy Training
of live and synthetic training has changed over time, and (3) how the Navy prioritizes its
synthetic training investments.


To address our objectives, we interviewed officials and reviewed and analyzed data from Navy
headquarters and Navy commands, including the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, as
well as the U.S. Fleet Forces and Pacific Fleet Commands; commanders from the aviation,
submarine and surface platform communities; resource sponsors for these platform
communities; and the Naval Reserve Command. We reviewed Navy and command policy
guidance, including the Fleet Training Simulator Strategy 3 which provides detailed objectives for
investments in simulators and synthetic training. We also reviewed the Fleet Synthetic Training
Program Instruction 4 and the Fleet Training Continuum Instruction 5 which provides guidance on
how to successfully execute fleet training. We reviewed Navy’s Aviation Simulator Master Plan,
which included information on planned investments in aviation simulators.


We conducted this performance audit from August 2011 to June 2012, in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and
perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence provides a
reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.


Summary


To determine whether to use live or synthetic training to meet its training requirements, the Navy
relies on guiding principles outlined in its Overarching Fleet Training Simulator Strategy. These
principles are intended to provide flexibility in determining the appropriate solution for a specific
training requirement or gap, while maintaining readiness levels and capitalizing on technical
advances in modeling and simulation. In applying these principles, Navy decision makers



3
 Overarching Fleet Training Simulator Strategy in support of Synthetic Training in Program Objective Memorandum
2013 and beyond (Jan. 25, 2011).
4
 Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Instruction 3500.3, Fleet Synthetic
Training Program (Mar. 31, 2011).
5
 Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Instruction 3501.3C, Fleet Training
Continuum Instruction (Mar. 31, 2011).




Page 2                                                                        GAO-12-725R Navy Training
consider the circumstances surrounding each individual requirement. For example, the Navy
may choose to use synthetic training where regular live training is not feasible due to
operational, cost, or safety concerns, such as training for ballistic missile defense.


Over the last decade, the Navy has increased its emphasis on the use of synthetic training. For
example, between 2003 and 2011, the Navy has taken certain steps, such as establishing
organizations to focus on synthetic training and issuing a concept of operations. The Navy’s
platform communities currently use different mixes of live and synthetic training. For example,
the submarine community conducts all of its pre-deployment training in shore-based simulators.
Navy surface ships have the capability to conduct just over half of their training synthetically, but
the mix of actual training varies by ship-type and by mission area. Navy makes significant use of
simulation for new pilot training and pilot practice once personnel are assigned to operational
units, but Naval aviation makes limited use of synthetic training for graded events 6 due to
concerns about simulation realism and safety. According to Naval Reserve Command officials,
there are no significant differences between the anticipated tasks that active and reserve
component forces conduct when using simulators.


The Navy’s Overarching Fleet Training Simulator Strategy also provides 12 investment priorities
for synthetic training. For example, aviation, littoral combat ship, and future platform simulator
procurement takes precedence over legacy platform simulator investments. The Navy applies
these priorities to guide decisions on simulator procurement and upgrades at both the platform
and fleet levels. At the platform level, the aviation community has an investment strategy,
contained in its naval aviation simulator master plan; the surface community is working on a
master plan, which is expected to be complete by the end of the year; and the priority in the
submarine community is ensuring that upgrades to the actual submarines are made to the
corresponding simulators. At the fleet level, a fleet training integration panel prioritizes
investments across the platforms and fleets and provides a forum where the priorities of each
platform community compete against each other. For additional details on our results, see
enclosure I.




6
    Graded training events are those that are reported through the Navy’s readiness reporting system.




Page 3                                                                    GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Agency Comments



In commenting on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense concurred with our report
and observations. The Department’s comments are reprinted in their entirety in enclosure II.



We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Navy, and
to the appropriate congressional committees. The report also is available at no charge on the
GAO website at http://www.gao.gov. Should you or your staff have any questions on the matters
discussed in this report, please contact me at (202) 512-9619 or pickups@gao.gov. Contact
points for our offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last
page of this report. GAO staff who contributed to this report are listed in enclosure III.




Sharon L. Pickup
Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Enclosures – 3




Page 4                                                                GAO-12-725R Navy Training
List of Committees


The Honorable Carl Levin
Chairman
The Honorable John McCain
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Howard P. McKeon
Chairman
The Honorable Adam Smith
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
House of Representatives




Page 5                           GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Enclosure I


   Navy Training: Observations on the
Navy’s Use of Live and Simulated Training




 Briefing for the Senate and House Armed Services
                     Committees




Page 6                                  GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Background

 The Navy uses a combination of live and synthetic1 training to
  prepare its forces to conduct military operations.
         Live Training: Navy personnel and units conduct live
          training using actual platforms (ship, submarine, aircraft) at
          sea or on a live training range.
         Synthetic Training: Navy personnel and units conduct
          synthetic training in a virtual or simulated environment.
          This training often involves the use of simulators, computer
          software that is embedded in a weapon system, or
          hardware and networks which can be used to conduct
          training while ships are pierside or underway.

 1   The Navy uses the term “synthetic” rather than “simulated”.
 Page 7                                                            GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Background (cont’d)

 The Navy has a phased plan (called the Fleet Response Training Plan)
  that identifies the types of training needed to prepare its forces to deploy
  for military requirements. Most live and synthetic training occurs within
  the basic and integrated phases, but some training occurs in all phases.
          Basic Phase: By the end of this phase, units are expected to exhibit
           unit level proficiency (e.g., effectively employ weapons and
           equipment). Type Commanders for each of the Navy’s platform
           communities (surface, submarine, and aviation) schedule, plan,
           and execute unit-level synthetic training events.
          Integrated/Advanced Phase: During this phase, unit warfare skills
           are combined so units form a cohesive strike group. The Navy’s two
           fleet commands – US Fleet Forces Command and the US Pacific
           Fleet – train and equip forces during the integrated/advanced
           phase.


Page 8                                                           GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Background (cont’d)

         Notional Fleet Response Training Plan Timeline
                              Interactivity instructions:   Roll over a photo to view the vessel’s time per phase. Roll over a training phase to see examples of training.
                                                            See appendix 1 for the non-interactive, printer-friendly version.




                           Aircraft carrier                    Amphibious ship                            Surface Combatant                                Submarine




                        Maintenance                                  Basic                                     Integrated/                              Sustainment
                                                                                                                Advanced

                                                      • Fundamentals                              • Increasing complexity
                                                      • Unit level training focus                 • Group level training focus
                                                      • Managed by Type                           • Managed by Fleets
                                                        Commanders




         Source: GAO analysis of Navy data.
Page 9                                                                                                                                                         GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Background (cont’d)

 The Navy has developed a network called the Navy Continuous Training
  Environment to distribute synthetic training to its ships, submarine simulators,
  and aircraft simulators.
 While connected to the network, units that are separated by hundreds of miles
  or more can train as though they were operating in close proximity to one
  another.




                                                                                                5
Page 10                                                             GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Background (cont’d)


 H.R. Rep. No. 112-78 (2011), which accompanied a bill for the
  National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, directed
  GAO to review the status of the military services’ training
  programs and report the results to the House and Senate Armed
  Services committees.

 This review covers the Navy. We are reporting separately on
  the Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps.




 Page 11                                               GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Objectives

     1) What principles does the Navy consider in determining
        whether to use live or synthetic training to meet its training
        requirements?
     2) How has the Navy’s mix of live and synthetic training
        changed over time?
     3) How does the Navy prioritize its synthetic training
        investments?




Page 12                                                   GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 1: Determining the Training Mix


 To determine whether to use live or synthetic training to
  meet its training requirements, the Navy uses the
  Overarching Fleet Training Simulator Strategy, which
  includes guiding principles.

 These guiding principles are intended to provide
  flexibility in determining the appropriate solution for a
  specific training requirement or gap, while maintaining
  readiness levels and capitalizing on technical advances
  in modeling and simulation.


Page 13                                          GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 1: Determining the Training Mix (cont’d)
Guiding Principles (1 of 2)

1) Effective training requires an efficient balance of live and synthetic
   approaches.
2) Simulator decisions are complex and require thoughtful and thorough
   analysis.
3) Train in port and validate at sea, or train on the ground and validate in the
   air, or train at home base and validate in the field.
4) Training simulators should be used to replace live training to the maximum
   extent possible where training effectiveness and operational readiness are
   not compromised.
5) Some live training events cannot or should not be replaced by a simulator.
6) If a skill or talent can be developed or refined, or if a proficiency can be
   effectively and efficiently maintained in a simulator, then these
   skills/talents/proficiencies should be developed/refined/maintained in a
   simulator.

 Page 14                                                         GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 1: Determining the Training Mix (cont’d)
Guiding Principles (2 of 2)
7) If a qualification or certification can realistically and economically be
    accomplished in a simulator, do it in a simulator.
8) Simulator training objectives must be directly linked with specific Navy
    Mission Essential Tasks or individual personnel qualification standard
    requirements.
9) Simulators that are intended to interface with other simulators during Fleet
    Synthetic Training2 events must be compatible with the Navy Continuous
    Training Environment network.
10) Simulators that could conceivably be used for multi-platform or cross-
    platform mission area training should be designed with integration as a
    primary goal.
11) Simulators should provide the appropriate level of fidelity required to
    effectively and economically train to the specified task(s).
12) Simulator procurement needs to stay aligned with Fleet-wide technical
    innovation to deliver timely, cost effective solutions.
 2Fleet Synthetic Training is an event for multiple platforms of various types (air, surface, submarine) or individual units with training audiences
 connected at different locations through the network, which could be local or worldwide.
 Page 15                                                                                                                     GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 1: Determining the Training Mix (cont’d)
Examples of Applying Guiding Principles (1 of 2)

 The Navy’s guiding principles provide decision makers with a measure of
  flexibility that allows them to customize simulator decisions based on the
  individual circumstances surrounding each training requirement. The
  following are examples of how the Navy applies its guiding principles:
     Guiding principle 6 states that if a skill or talent can be developed in a
       simulator, then it should be developed in a simulator. Based on that
       principle, Navy decision makers have chosen to use synthetic training
       in areas where regular live training is not feasible due to operational,
       cost, or safety concerns, such as training for ballistic missile defense.
     Guiding principle 5 states that some live training events cannot or
       should not be replaced by a simulator. In 2008, the Navy found that
       lowering the number of live flying hours below 10 per month resulted in
       increased risk of accidents while flying. Therefore, Navy decision
       makers choose live training when the use of synthetic training would
       cause pilot live flying hours to fall below 10 hours per month.

 Page 16                                                          GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 1: Determining the Training Mix (cont’d)
Examples of Applying Guiding Principles (2 of 2)


      Guiding principle 1 states that effective training requires an efficient
       balance of live and synthetic approaches. Based on the principle of
       efficient balance, the incremental costs associated with a live training
       event (e.g., fuel, ammunition) must be compared to the incremental
       costs associated with conducting the event synthetically (e.g.,
       simulators, technical support). Although synthetic training is generally
       less expensive than live training, decision makers may opt to conduct
       live training in some cases because the incremental cost of conducting
       that live training is very low. For example, because a ship’s crew
       typically conducts multiple live training events while underway, moving
       a single live event to synthetic training would not reduce underway time
       or fuel costs and it could add to simulator costs, thus making it more
       expensive to conduct the event synthetically.


Page 17                                                         GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 2: Changes in the Training Mix



   The Navy has increased its emphasis on and use of
    synthetic training over the last decade, as shown on the
    following slide.

   Currently, the use of synthetic training varies within and
    among the platform communities because of differences
    in their training needs.




Page 18                                            GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 2: Changes in the Training Mix (cont’d)

      Timeline of Key Milestones
                                                                                Interactivity instructions
                                  Roll over the event bullet to view more information.       See appendix 2 for the non-interactive, printer-friendly version.




                                              2005: Task Force SIM                                                                                        2011: Navy issues
          2003: Atlantic Fleet                issues final reports                                                                                        Overarching Fleet
          Weapons Training                    and Fleet Forces                       2007: Navy establishes                                               Training Simulator
          Facility (Vieques                   issues Fleet Synthetic                 Fleet Synthetic Training                                             Strategy and associated
          Island) closes                      Training instruction                   concept of operations                                                guidance and plans




                 2003              2004               2005               2006                2007               2008               2009                2010              2011




                            2004: Navy       2004-2005:           2006: Navy Aviation                                       2009: Navy          2010: Navy establishes
                            establishes      Navy increases       Simulator Master Plan is                                  reduces live        Guiding Principles for
                            Task Force       simulator use        issued and Fleet Forces                                   training for        simulator use
                            SIM              to mitigate the      hosts Fleet Synthetic                                     certain joint
                                             effects of           Training Flag Symposium                                   exercises
                                             reduced
                                             funding to
                                             support live
                                             training

                                                                  Source: GAO analysis of Navy data.




Page 19                                                                                                                                             GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 2: Changes in the Training Mix (cont’d)

 The Navy’s platform communities (i.e., surface, submarine, and aviation) use
  different mixes of live and synthetic training.
     Submarine forces: Submarines use shore-based simulators for all of their
       pre-deployment training. Some submarines have two rotating crews,3
       which led the Navy to procure simulators to synthetically train the at-home
       crew because live training was not possible. These simulators were then
       used to train the entire submarine community. This level of synthetic
       training is possible because the hardware and software in the simulators is
       the same as that in the actual submarines.
     Surface forces: Surface ships have the capability to conduct just over half
       of their training synthetically, but the mix of actual training varies by ship
       type and mission area. For example, some of the oldest ships do not have
       the type of computer infrastructure needed to support extensive synthetic
       training and require special technical assistance during Fleet Synthetic
       Training events. Conversely, simulators for one of the newest ships, the
       Littoral Combat Ship, are intended to provide crews with full certification
       prior to deployment, much like submarine crews.
 3   To maximize the presence of these submarines, one crew is always at sea, while the other is at home.
 Page 20                                                                                                    GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 2: Changes in the Training Mix (cont’d)

        Aviation forces: Naval aviation currently relies more heavily on live
         training due to concerns about simulation realism and safety. Fleet Forces
         Command and Naval aviation command officials noted that Navy makes
         significant use of simulation for new pilot training and pilot practice, once
         personnel are assigned to operational units. They also noted, though, that
         pilots currently do not complete a significant portion of their graded4
         training events in a synthetic environment. The use of synthetic training in
         the aviation community varies significantly depending on airframe and
         mission area. For example:
              At present, synthetic training accounts for:
                 18 percent of all F/A-18E/F (fighter) training.
                 Over 50 percent of all P-3 (surveillance aircraft) electronic warfare
                   training.
        Although the aviation community expects synthetic training to increase in
         the future, it expects live training to remain a majority of total training for
         key airframes through 2020.
4   Graded training events are those that are reported through the Navy’s readiness reporting system.
Page 21                                                                                                 GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 2: Changes in the Training Mix (cont’d)


 According to Naval Reserve Command officials, there are no
  significant differences between the anticipated tasks that active
  and reserve component forces conduct when using simulators.
  According to these officials:
      Reservists have access to simulators either in classroom
       training environments or when they are training with their
       active component counterparts.
      The preferred and most common training for a reservist is
       side-by-side with active component personnel.




Page 22                                                GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments


 The Navy’s Overarching Fleet Training Simulator Strategy also
  provides investment priorities for synthetic training.

 The Strategy states that it is imperative that all training simulator
  and synthetic training system investments be made in a cost-
  conscious manner with careful consideration for how those
  investments will contribute to platform or integrated readiness. In
  particular, it states that the Fleet must invest in areas that will
  close the most critical training capability gaps and improve
  warfighting readiness while providing the highest return on those
  investments.




Page 23                                                    GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments
(cont’d)
Investment Priorities (1 of 2)
1) Training simulators and synthetic training systems that have the greatest
   potential to improve mission performance.
2) Investments focus on operator/team training more than staff level training
   (i.e. training that improves a specific skill as opposed to training in
   decision-making).
3) Investments that enable cross-platform and multi-platform synthetic
   training that improve collective warfare area proficiency and readiness.
4) Navy Continuous Training Environment network reliability and
   sustainability upgrades.
5) Aviation, Littoral Combat Ship, and future platform simulator procurement
   takes precedence over legacy platform simulator investments.
6) Integration of simulators for current platforms.
7) Investments that procure new or upgraded simulators with greater fidelity.

 Page 24                                                        GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments
(cont’d)
Investment Priorities (2 of 2)
8) Fleet Training Integration Panel approved warfare area training priorities.
9) Training simulators and synthetic training systems that fill gaps in existing
   live training.
10) Investments that provide common data (compiled from historical,
    worldwide environmental data) for use during cross-platform integrated
    training, which realistically replicates conditions that affect
    sensor/communications/weapon system performance.
11) Investments that provide a common synthetic training architecture using
    common security protocols and databases that integrate and can be easily
    updated as simulators are upgraded.
12) Training simulators and synthetic training systems that have the greatest
    potential to generate savings over live training.



 Page 25                                                          GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments
(cont’d)

 The Navy applies these investment priorities to guide decisions on simulator
  procurement and upgrades. These decisions are made at both the platform
  (i.e., surface, submarine, and aviation) and fleet levels (i.e., Fleet Forces
  Command and Pacific Fleet).
      At the platform level:
          Naval aviation has a master plan investment strategy for simulator
           upgrades to key airframes.
          The surface community is working on a master plan for synthetic
           training, which is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
          The submarine community’s training is fully synthetic; its priority is
           ensuring that upgrades to the actual submarines are also made in
           the corresponding simulators.
          The surface and submarine communities also use stakeholder
           committees to help make simulator procurement and upgrade
           decisions.
      At the fleet level, a fleet training integration panel prioritizes
        investments across the platforms and the fleets.

 Page 26                                                          GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments
(cont’d)

 Although the aviation community has, to date, made limited use of synthetic
  training for graded events, it has seen opportunities for potential savings and
  has developed an investment plan to prioritize simulator investments, with the
  intent of reducing live training costs and achieving better overall training
  through development and use of high-fidelity simulation.

     The Navy Aviation Simulator Master Plan lays out anticipated simulator
      upgrades for key existing airframes that are expected to remain in service
      through 2030. The aviation community identified which simulator upgrades
      could reduce the most flight-hours and provide the best return on
      investment. They concluded that an investment of roughly $500 million over
      7 years starting in fiscal year 2012 could lead to a return of $119 million per
      year beginning in fiscal year 2020.

     The Navy plans to apply a similar analysis to all new-production systems,
      including the P-8A, E-2D, and Navy F-35C.

Page 27                                                              GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments
(cont’d)

 By airframe, Navy’s expectations are that the use of synthetic training, as a
  percentage of unit training, will be as follows:

                                Synthetic training as a percentage of
                                            total training

           Aircraft Platforms   Current state            In 2020
           F/A-18E/F                  18                    32
           EA-18G                     20                    34
           MH-60R                     39                    48
           MH-60S                     41                    49




 Page 28                                                           GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments
(cont’d)

 The surface and submarine communities use platform committees to
  involve relevant stakeholders in investment decisions.
       The Surface Warfare Training Committee is responsible for completing
        and implementing the surface training master plan and assessing
        training systems and devices for inclusion into the plan. The committee
        also produces analyses and cost estimates to help guide simulator
        decisions.
       The submarine community manages its simulator upgrades to ensure
        that they align with upgrades to the actual submarines and weapon
        systems. They also use the Undersea Warfare Training Committee to
        prioritize training requirements. A member of the committee told us that
        its analyses are focused on mission essentiality, cost, and delivery
        mechanisms.


 Page 29                                                          GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Obj 3: Prioritizing Synthetic Training Investments
(cont’d)

 At the fleet level, the Fleet Training Integration Panel, co-chaired by the
  Atlantic and Pacific fleets, provides a forum where the priorities of the platform
  communities compete against each other.
 The panel receives inputs from many organizations, including the platform
  communities, resource sponsors, and contracting offices, among others, and
  is intended to ensure an integrated training effort as well as establish
  accountability for fleet training. It also identifies corrective action plans that
  require additional resources.
 The panel has predominantly focused on platform area synthetic training in
  accordance with the Fleet Strategy, and less on multi-platform integration.
    According to the Strategy’s guiding principles, simulators that could be
      used for multi-platform or cross-platform mission area training should be
      designed with integration as a primary goal. The Fleet commands have
      thus drafted “roadmaps” to identify cross-community synthetic training
      integration capabilities needed to enable warfare area training.
 Page 30                                                              GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Appendix 1: Notional Fleet Response Training
Plan Timeline
                     Notional Fleet Response Training Plan Timeline




                                       Aircraft carrier                     Amphibious ship                 Surface Combatant                      Submarine




                                    Maintenance                                   Basic                          Integrated/                   Sustainment
                                                                                                                  Advanced

                                                                   • Fundamentals                     • Increasing complexity
                                                                   • Unit level training focus        • Group level training focus
                                                                   • Managed by Type                  • Managed by Fleets
                                                                     Commanders




            Sailor at schoolhouse                       Unit training may be                   Integrated                       Advanced                 Sustaining proficiency
          training while platform is                  live, distributed or in a              Force may be                   Distributed force               or deployment
          undergoing maintenance                       standalone simulator                distributed or live             training (joint and
                                                                                                                          coalition integration)
                     Source: GAO analysis of Navy data.
Page 31                                                                                                                                              GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Enclosure
Appendix 2:1: Average
              NotionalNotional Fleet Response
                       Fleet Response   Training
Training Plan (FRTP) Timeline
Plan Timeline
                                     Aircraft carrier


                                      Maintenance                      Sustainment
                                        26 weeks                        86 weeks


                                          Basic         Integrated
                                        13 weeks        14 weeks

                                                           139 weeks




Source: GAO analysis of Navy data.




   Page 32                                                                           GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Enclosure
Appendix 2:1: Average
              NotionalNotional Fleet Response
                       Fleet Response   Training
Training Plan (FRTP) Timeline
Plan Timeline
                                     Amphibious ship


                                                                             Sustainment
                                                                              69 weeks


                                     Maintenance       Basic    Integrated
                                         15 weeks      20 weeks 14 weeks

                                                               118 weeks




Source: GAO analysis of Navy data.




   Page 33                                                                               GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Enclosure
Appendix 2:1: Average
              NotionalNotional Fleet Response
                       Fleet Response   Training
Training Plan (FRTP) Timeline
Plan Timeline
                                     Surface combatant

                                                                                           Sustainment
                                                                                               69 weeks


                Maintenance                     Basic             Integrated/Advanced
                             15 weeks           20 weeks 13 weeks

                                                                     117 weeks
                                            *The Integrated/Advanced training phase includes an average of 14 weeks
                                             for Carrier Strike Group escorts and 12 weeks for independent deployers




Source: GAO analysis of Navy data.




   Page 34                                                                                                             GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Enclosure
Appendix 2:1: Average
              NotionalNotional Fleet Response
                       Fleet Response   Training
Training Plan (FRTP) Timeline
Plan Timeline
                                     Submarine

                                     Maintenance                     Sustainment
                                       27 weeks                       39 weeks


                                            Basic         Integrated/Advanced
                                         21 weeks         26 weeks

                                                    113 weeks




Source: GAO analysis of Navy data.




   Page 35                                                                         GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Appendix 2: Timeline of Key Milestones

Year        Event
2003        Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility (Vieques Island) closes
            • The closure of the Vieques live training range left the Navy with a gap in its training capabilities. This closure was announced in 2001.
2004        Navy establishes Task Force SIM
            • The Chief of Naval Operations established Task Force SIM (simulation) to provide guidance and a framework for the use of modeling and simulation in the Navy. The
            task force focused on strike group training and multi-platform, mission-linked tactical flight training, among other things.
2004-2005   Navy increases simulator use to mitigate the effects of reduced funding to support live training
            • Navy begins to increase simulator use to mitigate reduction in flying hours and steaming days and loss of availability of the Vieques range.
2005        Task Force SIM issues final reports and Fleet Forces issues Fleet Synthetic Training Instruction
            • In April and May 2005, Task Force SIM reported on its efforts to promote fleet readiness and joint interoperability by providing a strategic framework and guidance for
            Navy-wide use of modeling and simulation to support training, acquisition, experimentation, and analysis conducted in synthetic and live environments. In its report,
            the task force identified initial savings strategies. In November 2005, U.S. Fleet Forces issued the Fleet Synthetic Training Instruction to provide specific responsibili-
            ties and procedures for surface ships, submarines, and air squadron personnel regarding Fleet Synthetic Training events.
2006        Navy Aviation Simulator Master Plan is issued and Fleet Forces hosts Fleet Synthetic Training Flag Symposium
            • In April 2006, the Navy Aviation Simulator Master Plan was issued as a strategy to upgrade simulator-based training. In May 2006, Fleet Forces hosted the Fleet
            Synthetic Training Flag Symposium to articulate a requirement for synthetic training and chart the course for the Navy’s Synthetic Training program.
2007        Navy establishes Fleet Synthetic Training concept of operations
            • In April 2007, the Navy issued the Fleet Synthetic Training concept of operations for the Navy Continuous Training Environment. In this concept, the Navy noted that,
            due to cost, environmental, and political concerns, live range availability was more limited than it had been in the past. The Navy believed that fleet synthetic training
            could mitigate the impacts of this by substituting, where appropriate, synthetic training for some live training requirements.
2009        Navy reduces live training for certain joint exercises
            • The Navy reduced live underway training for certain joint task force exercises from 3 weeks to 2 weeks per event.
2010        Navy establishes Guiding Principles for simulator use
            • The Chief of Naval Operations approved the guiding principles for simulator use, which established fleet-wide policy.
2011        Navy issues Overarching Fleet Training Simulator Strategy and associated guidance and plans
            • In January 2011, the Navy Fleet commanders issued the Overarching Fleet Training Simulator Strategy, which included the guiding principles established in 2010 as
            well as investment priorities. Following this, the Navy updated the Fleet Synthetic Training Program Instruction and issued the Fleet Training Continuum Instruction.
            The Commander, Naval Air Forces also updated the 2006 Aviation Simulator Master Plan with guidance for specific synthetic training investments.




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          Enclosure II: Comments from the Department of Defense
Enclosure II: Comments from the Department of Defense




Page 37                                                           GAO-12-725R Navy Training
Enclosure III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments
Enclosure III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments

GAO Contact

Sharon Pickup, (202) 512- 9619 or pickups@gao.gov.

Staff Acknowledgments

In addition to the contact named above, key contributors to this report included Michael
Ferren, Assistant Director; Clarine Allen; Grace Coleman; James Lackey; Amie Steele;
Maria Storts; and Nicole Willems.




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Page 38                                                     GAO-12-725R Navy Training
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