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Internet-based joint training system debuts

by Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

2/23/2005 - WASHINGTON (AFPN)  -- Imagine a teacher who travels across the ether to students located around the world and you would be describing the Department of Defense’s new Internet-based training and information system called the Joint Knowledge Development and Distribution Capability.

The state-of-the-art system personifies transformation and joint operations, said Maj. Gen. Jack L. Catton Jr. during a Feb. 22 demonstration at the Pentagon. General Catton is the Joint Staff's director of operational plans and joint force development.

The password-controlled system -- which has both classified and unclassified sites -- will improve DOD's joint warfighting capability, General Catton said, by providing "critical joint knowledge" to servicemembers stationed stateside and overseas.

"There's power," General Catton said, "when you have joint knowledge available when and where the joint warfighter has the time and the need to grab it."

The system was fashioned from a merger of separate distance-learning capabilities held among the armed services, including the Coast Guard, and several government agencies, General Catton said. Civilian experts from industry and academia also lent a hand creating the system.

Joint anti-terror operations and joint senior noncommissioned officers' training are among the several instruction modules that can be accessed by eligible users before they are sent on overseas assignments, said David Evans, the program director.

This capability, Mr. Evans said, can be used to reduce the need to send instructors overseas to train troops.

Shared information available on the system also will assist DOD to focus on "total joint operations," said Paul Mayberry, deputy undersecretary of defense for readiness. "What is developed in one service can be used in another service."

He said the system will eventually be configured for combatant commanders' use.

The system represents "a tremendous tool," Mr. Mayberry said, that can "reach out" to provide training and information to troops from all service branches serving worldwide.