U.S. Army Soldiers with Archer Battery, Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Cavalry Regiment conduct a fire mission with a M777 Howitzer during Exercise Dynamic Front 18 at the U.S. Army’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. [DoD Image: Gertrud Zach]
Sponsored by Tapestry Solutions: A Closer Look at Boeing’s Tapestry Solutions
Providing Full-Spectrum Training Services for the 7th Army Training Command
The weather was cold, wet and gray as the soldiers stood by their guns awaiting fire missions at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. Their mission was to defend a “mock” village – using artillery pieces like the M777A2 155mm Howitzer Artillery – to fight off opposing forces that attempted to seize and occupy the village.
The artillerymen were among 3,700 service members from 26 allied and partner nations, including the NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corp, that participated in the Dynamic Front 18 joint fires integration exercise. Held February 23 to March 10, 2018, the multinational exercise was conducted by the 7th Army Training Command (7th ATC) under the direction of the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR).
The objective was to provide hands-on training and testing of secure communications between NATO allies and partner nations. A major focus was on the U.S. Army’s digital software interface in response to NATO’s Artillery Systems Cooperation Activities (ASCA) requirement to link disparate artillery and fire support systems. ASCA’s aim is to provide NATO commanders and forces with an interoperable multinational artillery team.
Participants included fire units from the United States, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Boeing’s Tapestry Solutions: Delivering Realistic, Innovative Training
In preparation for this massive event, training experts from Boeing subsidiary, Tapestry Solutions, worked round-the-clock designing and planning the exercise to ensure it met the U.S. Army’s training objectives. They prepared materials and personnel to execute the event, set up the training area, and prepared and executed the After Action Reviews, or AARs, to capture key lessons learned.
“We are proud to provide critical training services that help ensure the highest level of readiness for our troops – courageous men and women who risk their lives every day to protect national security,” said Robin Wright, president and CEO of Tapestry Solutions. As a Boeing company, he added, “Tapestry is backed by an iconic leader on the cutting edge of technology, which boosts our customers’ confidence in our solutions and strengthens our position in the training and simulation industry.”
Improving Force Effectiveness for Allies & Partner Nations
Multinational training events like Dynamic Front focus on interoperability. The training helps ensure participating nations can communicate and operate together effectively, despite differences in capabilities, terminology and traditions.
Tapestry’s key customer, the 7th ATC, is the U.S. Army’s largest overseas training command that provides realistic, tailor-made training solutions to U.S., NATO and partner nations throughout Europe, Africa and beyond.
Tapestry supports 7th ATC training events at the Joint Multinational Simulation Center (JMSC) located in Grafenwoehr, Germany; its satellites in Baumholder and Kaiserslautern, Germany, and Vicenza, Italy; the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany; and Theater Security Cooperation exercises throughout NATO.
The 7th ATC conducts over a dozen large-scale, multinational exercises like Dynamic Front in the Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr Training Areas each year, plus hundreds of readiness events throughout the U.S. Army Europe’s area of responsibility.
Full-Spectrum Training, From the Classroom to the Battlespace
Tapestry supports all levels of training – at home stations and major combat training centers – to prepare commanders, staffs and units up to brigade level for full- spectrum operations worldwide. Training is conducted in live, virtual, constructive and gaming environments.
Work for the 7th ATC is being performed under the Mission Command Training Support (MCTS) contract, potentially worth $58 million over five years. MCTS is a follow-on to the JMSC Battle Simulation Training (BST) contract that was awarded in 2011.
As the prime contractor for MCTS, Tapestry leads a team that includes Capstone, Metro Productions and VATC (Visual Awareness Technology & Consulting, Inc.). From May 2017 through March 2018, the team trained over 30,000 military personnel across 22 nations, according to Randy Hanes, Tapestry’s onsite program manager for the MCTS contract.
The Tapestry team supported 10 rotations at JMRC, 22 exercises at JMSC and 153 gaming events across all four sites in Germany, Italy, Poland and the Ukraine.
The People Behind Tapestry’s Success
“People are our greatest resource– our analysts, SMEs, instructors and technicians. Over the years, our people have developed trusted relationships with our customers – ranging from the hands-on technician on up to the 3-star commanding officer,” said Michael Spencer, Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Tapestry Solutions.
Spencer knows all too well about the importance of customer relationships in the military. Prior to joining Tapestry in 2008, he held key staff and command positions from 1st Lieutenant to Colonel, with key assignments with the 11th Armor Cavalry Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Defense Intelligence Agency, 7th Army Training Command and the Joint Staff. Spencer also led 7th ATC’s Directorate of Simulations-Forward from 1999-2003, the predecessor to the Joint Multinational Simulation Center.
Under Spencer’s guidance, Tapestry won its first major mission command training & simulation contract, the JMSC BST award. The award was a natural extension of Tapestry’s deep domain experience in information management, data fusion and analysis.
When Boeing acquired Tapestry in 2008, Tapestry was best known as a leader in supply chain and logistics command-and-control software and services for defense, government and commercial customers. With the JMSC BST award, followed by the MCTS award and other major contracts, Tapestry has emerged as a major player in the training & simulation services industry.
Today, Tapestry serves as a one-stop shop for exercise development, support and execution. The level of support varies according to type and size of the event.
“An exercise event will vary greatly in complexity and time, ranging from 200 to 6,000 man-hours of effort. JMRC rotations require approximately 3,600 man-hours per rotation depending on rotation complexity,” according to Hanes.
With this fast tempo, the job can be grueling yet rewarding, noted Hanes. “The job is like a marathon with our customer’s customer – the training audience/rotational training unit – running a sprint,” Hanes said. “Our satisfaction is making sure the sprinter crosses the finish line knowing that they have won the race, and feeling confident they have increased their odds of survival on the battlefield.”
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
About Tapestry Solutions: Tapestry Solutions is a global provider of information management software and services for defense, government and commercial customers. They provide training, simulation and technical support to maximize mission readiness for U.S. and allied forces.