Osan sim center: Ultimate "gaming" spot for peninsula warfighters

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Carolyn Glover
  • 7th Air Force Public Affairs
When it comes to real-world simulations and war-gaming scenarios, the Korea Air Simulation Center here plays full force in military gaming technology.

The KASC's mission is to provide realistic, simulation-driven training and exercise events, which are integrated with the actual wartime C4I systems, databases and processes. It provides exercise planning and execution support to Combined Forces Command and the Air Component Command for the JCS and 7th Air Force peninsula-wide exercises, inspections and training.

The facility was established in the early 1990s as a cost-effective means of efficiently and realistically training the Air Component Command warfighting staff. ACC includes both South Korean and Air Force personnel manning the Air Operations Center and Combined Air Force Forces staff.

"(The KASC) allows us to accomplish critical training without actually flying aircraft," said Col. Pat Matthews, the 7th Air Force Director of Programs, Plans and Analyses.

Cost savings are in the millions, he said. "Through our simulations, we can fly thousands of sorties in a 24-hour period to train the staff. Flying actual aircraft at the same rate to do the same job would be very costly."

These virtual sorties are flown through the center's primary simulation program, Air Warfare Simulation, more commonly known as AWSIM. Once an operator inputs the contents of an air tasking order, the program assesses the information and virtually flies the aircraft as directed.

AWSIM works in coordination with other programs, such as Air and Space Constructive Environment-Information Operations Suite. This program calculates weapons effects, outputs damage assessment and administers intelligence acquisition, among other functions.

The KASC's 19-member team is responsible for operating 13 different in-house simulation programs. However, they regularly link up their programs with other simulation centers around the world in support of various exercise requirements.

The KASC team's most intensive exercise is the annual Operation Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a peninsula-wide exercise designed to enhance the combat readiness of South Korea and U.S. forces, while strengthening the alliance between the two nations.

"This is the platinum-level of all exercises," Matthews said. "Tons of preparation is involved for this exercise every year. As soon as we finish this year's exercise, we begin planning for next year's."

More than 25 different simulation programs are linked together to make the exercise successful, said Charles Grahn, the deputy simulations managers. The KASC joins with 11 other simulation centers on the peninsula and stateside, to create a realistic training environment for UFG 2011.

To fully support the simulation requirements for UFG, approximately 130 subject matter expert augmentees join the KASC team for the 10-day exercise. Aircraft operators, intelligence analysts, programmers and controllers assemble in the KASC daily to run the day-to-day simulated operations.

Jeff Duerrwaeshter, the UFG real-time simulations manager, along with other members of the 505th Combat Training Squadron from Hurlburt Field, Fla., joins the UFG exercise team every year.

"We are here to train our audiences," he said. "We keep (the simulations) going so there is no break in training."

The KASC's involvement in exercises doesn't end with ENDEX.

"We are always innovating," Matthews said. He and he his team consistently look for feedback from game players in the days following an exercise.

"We want the warfighter to tell us what is not right, so we can change it," Grahn said. "We are always striving to improve our training, making it better and more realistic."