US Army opens WTCS training system for wideband satellite operators

9 April 2018 (Last Updated April 9th, 2018 11:30)

The US Army has officially opened a new interactive training system developed by Northrop Grumman for wideband satellite operators.

US Army opens WTCS training system for wideband satellite operators
Ribbon cutting ceremony during the delivery of the US Army’s new WTCS. Credit: Mr James Christophersen (PEO EIS).

The US Army has officially opened a new interactive training system developed by Northrop Grumman for wideband satellite operators.

Claimed to be the first-of-its-kind, the wideband training and certification system (WTCS) would support the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite communications programme.

The WGS constellation of military satellites offers secure, reliable and resilient communications across the globe for both the US and other partner nations.

The training system has been developed by the company for the US Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) under a $14.8m five-year WTCS contract received in December 2015.

“The new training system helps simulate different subsystems the SATCOM controllers use daily, in addition to developing virtual instances for training.”

It will be used by soldiers training to manage and monitor WGS in order to apply classroom learning to simulations generated from real-world events.

WTCS-trained soldiers will staff the army’s five Wideband Satellite Operation Centers (WSOCs) where they will manage satellite payloads, direct the actions of terminals accessing assigned satellites, control terminal transmissions, and monitor the system to protect SATCOM and support the WGS constellation.

PEO STRI programme executive officer US Army brigadier general William E Cole said: “WSOC operators have the responsibility to ensure satellite communications are always up and running.

“The WTCS will be an integral part of meeting that responsibility by providing training that prepares operators to handle basic operations and more importantly, to be able to handle anomalies and threats.

“WTCS offers the realistic training at an accelerated pace and a very reasonable cost.”

Currently, the WTCS has been installed on workstations at the US Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

The project related work is being carried out in Orlando, Florida, US. It will continue until December 2020.

The new training system helps simulate different subsystems the SATCOM controllers use daily, in addition to developing virtual instances for training.