Des Moines, Iowa --
Five members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) visited the Distributed Training and Operation Center (DTOC) located at the 132d Wing, Iowa Air National Guard in Des Moines, Iowa June 18-22, 2018.
The NATO members, based out of NATO Airbase Geilenksrchen in Germany, met with DTOC members, toured the facilities, gained firsthand experience of the systems in place and discussed best practices and future training.
“We wanted to improve not only what we see in the simulators but also our coordination with the people here at the DTOC,” said Navy Lt. Commander Evan Mobley, NATO simulator branch leader.
Mobley also said that with there being such a difference in how operations are conducted in Europe versus the United States, face to face collaboration was a greatly desired step to improve continuity.
The NATO visitors viewed syllabus training rides, partook in scenario development and Future Large Force Employment (LFE) development to better understand the capabilities of the DTOC and future capabilities NATO will require for training.
While information and training about simulator systems can be done remotely, the face-to-face collaboration proved helpful for improving communication.
“Our SMEs are the best in the world at what they do day-to-day, but even the best need interaction with the customer to better understand what desired learning objectives need to be accomplished,” said Maj. Angelo Deright, the Assistant Director of Operations at the DTOC.
The face-to-face training helped, as the NATO members taught academics to fighter SMEs on NATO training rules, which ultimately makes training better. There was also a fighter roundtable discussion, where NATO members got to interact directly with the fighter SMEs.
“"Shack" Shackelford and "TC" Fulton did an amazing job helping our NATO friends develop and build on their scenarios,” said Deright. “The visit will only expand the relationship the DTOC has with NATO and will ensure the training remains top of the line.”
As the "support nexus" of the Air National Guard Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) program, the DTOC's mission is to provide persistent DMO capability and expertise in support of realistic, relevant training opportunities to warfighters in a networked environment.
NATO is an international organization which brings together Airmen of various countries.