Training development in support of the operational domain

Chapter 3 The Combined Arms Training Strategy(ies) (CATS)

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Chapter 3
The Combined Arms Training Strategy(ies) (CATS)

3-1. Introduction

This chapter describes the CATS program, strategy development, CATS interface with Army processes, and how to develop CATS. It supports and amplifies guidance found in AR 350-1, AR 220-1, and TR 350-70, and follows the ADDIE process. The CATS is a DA program in which the CATS are developed by each proponent institution. Although CAC – Training, Collective Training Directorate (CAC-T, CTD) is the Army's functional proponent for CATS, the proponent institutions hold the decision authority and approval for CATS. The proponent institutions provide CAC-T, CTD with recommendations and guidance in unit-specific CATS development. Proponent institutions utilize CATS to prioritize current and future training resource requirements for submission to the appropriate integrating command.

3-2. Overview

CATS focus on unit training throughout the ARFORGEN cycle and identify training resource requirements. Proponent institutions use CATS to develop unit training plans and strategies and inform resourcing for operational training requirements beyond the ARFORGEN cycle. CATS are designed to train the mission, core capabilities, and functions identified in unit TOEs. CATS support training readiness and contain HQDA-approved METLs for designated units. CATS assist HQDA in determining training resource requirements for both AA and RC units. HQDA uses the budgeting process to address national military strategy and policy, address military force objectives and capabilities, and justify and allocate the resources necessary to execute training. Unit CATS provide HQDA the foundation for quantifying and justifying required training resources to conduct unit training. FORSCOM utilizes CATS in creating the event menu matrices (EMMs) and battalion-level training model (BLTM) products which provide input to the program objective memorandum (POM) process. CTD, as the executive agent for CATS, requires the use of DTMS as the primary delivery platform; the CATS Development Tool in DTMS is the only approved automated tool for use in CATS development. Commanders and trainers access CATS through DTMS and ATN.
a. Characteristics. CATS are descriptive, task-based, and event-driven to provide both AA and RC unit commanders a unit training strategy to assist them in developing training plans that build or sustain unit training readiness throughout the ARFORGEN cycle. CATS are developed based on a thorough review of mission, doctrine, and organization. Every CATS consists of a menu of task selections that provide a base strategy for unit commanders to plan, prepare, and assess training to provide a flexible training strategy. CATS also incorporate existing material resources such as ammunition; fuel (time or mileage); training land; time; ranges; facilities; training support personnel; and training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (TADSS) to enhance the training. A design requirement for CATS is to train a capability with supporting training events and resources.
b. Event sequencing and integration. Training developers design events to be trained in a logical sequence, starting with the lowest echelon or staff level and adding echelons or staff sections as the events get progressively more complex. The culminating event for a CATS is usually the highest level event designed to train or evaluate the entire unit. CATS are vertically and horizontally integrated from the lowest to the highest echelon (squad through brigade) so that training of lower echelon units nests with the parent unit’s training strategy. Battalion and below CATS nest with the brigade CATS to train the tasks the unit was designed to perform.
c. Task selections. Training developers analyze the mission, doctrine, and the UTL to determine which collective tasks to train together in a task selection. A task selection describes a specific mission and capability; it includes collective tasks that support training that capability. Training developers recommend the frequency of training and the events to use to train the capability. Task selections are trained utilizing a progressive series of events. Events provide options to commanders to accommodate training at the appropriate level of difficulty based on their training readiness assessment. Each event provides recommendations for whom and how to train, and the resources that support that training. A list of CATS events and more information on CATS events appears in appendix D.

3-3. CATS types

There are two types of CATS: those that are TOE-based and unique to unit type (Unit CATS), and those that address a functional capability common to multiple units and echelons (Function CATS).
a. Unit CATS. Unit CATS are TOE-based and unique to a unit type. Unit CATS development considers organizational structure, higher headquarters specific UTL, METL, and doctrine to organize the unit’s collective tasks in an ARFORGEN supporting strategy that provides a path for achieving task proficiency. Unit CATS consist of a menu of task selections that provide unit commanders a base strategy to prepare training plans. Unit CATS integrate functions required for readiness reporting as well as support the ARFORGEN phases. Unit CATS estimate resource requirements to support event-driven training, and provide commanders with a method to train all tasks. Unit CATS provide commanders with tools to plan, prepare for, and evaluate unit training.
b. Function CATS. Function CATS supplement Unit CATS. They may support functions that are not unique to a specific unit type, or they may support training of WFFs or missions that support operational themes. Two examples of Function CATS are Sustainment and Protection. Function CATS contain most of the same data elements as Unit CATS.

3-4. CATS interface with Army processes and models

The CATS program interfaces with other Army processes and models to include: combat development, training resourcing, ADDIE, TADSS development, and readiness reporting.
a. Combat development interface. The combat development process is the Army's process for determining requirements. This threat- and capability-driven process is how TRADOC accomplishes its mission as it identifies new unit or organizational capabilities to meet both today’s and tomorrow’s threats. As part of this process, the training and combat developers work together to identify training product requirements. Some of the documents CATS developers may review with combat developers include Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) documents, STRAPs, and new equipment training (NET) plans.
(1) The JCIDS is a key supporting process for DoD acquisition and for planning, programming, budgeting, and execution (PPBE) processes. The primary objective of the JCIDS process is to ensure the joint warfighter receives the capabilities to successfully execute the mission HQDA assigns to them.

(2) A STRAP is the master training plan for new or modified materiel systems. The STRAP provides important information pertaining to learning, planning, programming, budgeting, concepts, and strategies. In the STRAP, the proponent uses current CATS requirements to ensure that all current and future resources, TADSS, gaming, ranges and facilities, and support personnel required to execute training are identified for new equipment or systems.

(3) A NET plan facilitates the transfer of knowledge from the materiel developer to the tester, trainer, supporter, and user regarding the operation, maintenance, doctrine, and tactics for training the fielding of new, improved, or displaced equipment. CATS may need modification to accommodate the training of units on a new system. CATS must facilitate early identification of training resources to support NET. CATS work in a similar fashion regarding displaced equipment training (DET).
b. CATS interface with training resourcing.
(1) CATS identify how the Army plans to train, and the resource requirements for executing the training, during and after the POM period. Current and emerging doctrine and operational concepts also influence Unit CATS requirements, and identify events, tasks, and skills to be trained. CATS enable proponents and integrating commands to develop a list of priority training resource requirements. This list enables TRADOC to assist the Army in determining the priority for application of funds to train the force.
(2) Training developers also work with the Standards in Training Commission (STRAC), which drives investment and resourcing decisions in areas such as range modernization, range instrumentation, and TADSS. The STRAC mission is to determine the quantities and types of munitions for Soldiers, crews, and units to attain and sustain weapon proficiency relative to readiness levels. HQDA uses the events in the CATS and STRAC as the basis for programming and budgeting training resources.
c. ADDIE interface. Application of ADDIE assists proponents in the analysis, design, and development of their CATS, and identifying how well current CATS meet the needs of the field, and what changes should be addressed in further CATS development.
d. TADSS development interface (includes gaming, ranges and facilities, and support personnel). CATS incorporate TADSS. TADSS provide support across the entire training spectrum. Through CATS development for future training, proponents identify new TADSS requirements to support training on or of new systems or unique organizations. Where appropriate, proponents identify trade-offs of training resources (such as, operational tempo (OPTEMPO), ammunition, and others) in order to obtain funding for the TADSS. If a TADSS requirement does not receive funding, the unit may not be able to train to accomplish the task that TADSS supports. Future requirements can generate a need to develop a CATS. In conjunction with future warfighting concepts, CATS can assist in preparing the JCIDS documents for systems and non-systems training devices. TADSS support system training as well as unit training events. The CATS identify TADSS as cost-effective training enablers.
e. Readiness reporting. Unit CATS provide strategies that assist commanders with readiness assessment in DTMS. Commanders have readiness reporting requirements to in accordance with AR 220-1.

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