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Preparations for the 2017 Trident Warrior exercise, where US sailors are exposed to the newest innovations in naval systems warfare and provide feedback on the systems to commanders and developers, have begun.
The exercise will be facilitated by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, though offices and programs across the Navy, such as the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and the Navy’s C4I program office, which will contribute their latest technology to be tested.
This year, the Unified Gunnery System augmented reality helmet, known as GunnAR, will be among the new technologies being tested. According to defensesystems.com, the helmet was invented by Lt. Robert McClenning and visually synthesizes data from a ship’s weapons systems with information feeds from a ship’s gunnery liaison officer.
A GunnAR prototype was demonstrated to select groups within the Navy late last year, said Heidi Buck, Director of the Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality lab.
The Trident Warrior exercise allows sailors to conduct real-time simulated operations using new hardware technology, but also allows sailors to engage with the latest software and cyber technology. The Naval Integrated Tactical–Cloud Reference for Operational Superiority (NITROS) is one piece of cyber technology that played a key a role in last year’s exercise, according to a Navy press release, and may appear this year as well.
“NITROS brings the power of automation to analysts’ workflows, allowing sailors to dedicate their time to the ‘why’ instead of the ‘how’. It represents a wide shift toward collaborative integrated delivery of information warfare,” said Dr. Bob Parker, Technical Director of the Navy’s C4I program office at the time. The most important part of the exercise is the feedback given by the sailors who operated the new technology. Comments are given anonymously so that personnel are not afraid to be honest about the experience.