Anteon International Corp. has won a $10 million subcontract from Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop a video system for the Army to use in its urban warfare training.
Under the three-year contract, Fairfax-based Anteon will develop a video system that will record, edit and review soldiers training for urban combat operations such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The digital video project is part of the Combat Training Center-Objective Instrumentation System at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. Lockheed Martin of Bethesda is the prime contractor for the project.
The mission of the Army's combat training center program is to provide highly realistic and stressful arms training that simulates actual combat.
The training is done in models of urban terrain, such as buildings and streets, built by the Army Corps of Engineers. The models are outfitted with cameras and microphones to record military units' training.
Anteon helped develop the Army's first instrumented urban warfare training site at Fort Polk, La., and it supports similar training efforts at a number of other locations. In addition, Anteon has developed mobile urban warfare training sites for use in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
Anteon, which has more than 8,600 employees and annual sales of $1 billion, sees a growing demand among the military services for video training related to urban warfare, said Dick Coltman, the company's vice president of integrated instrumentation. The company has seen video use increase from 5 percent to 80 percent in after action reports filed on urban warfare training over the past decade, he said.
During that period, video training for the military has evolved from analog VCR tapes to digital DVD tapes. The tapes are shown to soldiers in training so that they can understand how they can improve their performance.
Just as football players study recordings of their games, soldiers review footage of their urban training to make sure they are following proper procedures as they move through or around obstacles. For example, it helps them see how well they move between buildings, enter rooms, and climb stairwells.
The video training is used to help different types of units prepare for combat in urban settings, including armor, infantry and security personnel, Coltman said. He said the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and National Guard have used the company's video training services.
"Video has become almost an irreplaceable tool in establishing a very high-fidelity feedback for the soldier," he said.
The video is of a much greater resolution than might be required in a typical surveillance situation, Coltman said.
"We want to know who the soldier is and what his [name] patch says," he said. "We want to do it two [kilometers] out and in total darkness. . . . There's no real compromise for the quality, resolution and clarity of the video we have to collect."
William Welsh is a senior writer with Washington Technology magazine. For more details on this and other contracts, go to www.washingtontechnology.com.