Warfighters and law enforcement personnel alike are now more effective in the field thanks to the outstanding partnership between the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). The long-term collaboration between these agencies has created an extraordinary track record of success, culminating most recently in NAWCTSD’s Scenario Planning and Effects Control System (SPECS). This extensible technology suite puts the sights, sounds and smells of conflict in the hands of training instructors, allowing them to create highly immersive environments. The more exposure law enforcement and military personnel have to such realistic stressors, the better able they are to quickly make effective decisions on the battlefield or on the streets.
SPECS was developed through a series of Interagency Agreements beginning in 2009 and continuing today. Several iterations have advanced the software to make it a uniquely powerful technology. For example, its unique sound system allows instructors to select sound effects from multiple sound libraries and, with just a right-click of the mouse over a two-dimensional map, prompt the system to automatically mix sounds and select the correct speakers and amplitudes needed for the scenario. Smell generation is just as easy and precise, as is after-action review. Because most, if not all, of law enforcement training scenarios are instructor-led, SPECS was designed to support instructors as operators, as well as to be accessible by a range of instructors with a range of skills. Its combination of government and off-the-shelf components make it both cost-effective and sustainable, while its scalability adapts to law enforcement training facilities of one or two rooms to military tactical training areas spread across miles.
SPECS is now operational within numerous immersive and mixed-reality training environments, including FLETC’s Performance Assessment Laboratory, the FLETC Intermodal Training Facility in Glynco, Georgia; the state of Pennsylvania’s Northeast Counter Drug Training Center (NCTC); and several U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps facilities. Since 2013, more than 100,000 law enforcement personnel and tens of thousands of warfighters have participated in the immersive training. In addition, SPECS is a component of the U.S. Army Live Training Transformation architecture, expanding its availability exponentially.
The NAWCTSD and FLETC teams driving SPECS bring a wealth of experience and expertise to bear in the advancement of this innovative training program. They have deep resources to draw on—from NAWCTSD’s long history of developing and transferring state-of-the-art simulation technology to FLETC’s expertise in the influence of special effects on performance. Building on SPECS and their other successes, this outstanding collective effort will continue to break new ground long into the future.
Contact: Nelson Lerma, (407) 380-4304, [email protected]