June 9, 2021By Lance Baily

I/ITSEC 2021 to Focus on Adapting to an Unexpected Future

The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) is the world’s largest modeling, simulation and training event. Held near the beginning of December in Orlando, Florida, the simulation conference consists of peer-reviewed paper presentations, tutorials, special events, professional workshops, a commercial exhibit hall, a serious games competition and STEM events for teachers and secondary students. This year’s conference, themed “Innovating and Accelerating Training: Adapting to an Unexpected Future,” will be held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, 2021, in Orlando, Florida.

I/ITSEC is organized by the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA), which promotes international and interdisciplinary cooperation within the fields of modeling and simulation (M&S), training, education, analysis and related disciplines at this annual meeting. The professional development workshops, the final activity of the conference, are free professional development seminars held on the Friday of the event week.

Each year, this conference promotes cooperation among the armed services, industry, academia and various government agencies. This is in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multi-service programs. From looking into the future of medical simulation to seeing what Hollywood’s cutting-edge special-effects wizards can bring to the industry, I/ITSEC’s special events are always innovative and informative.

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2021 Keynote Speakers

Honorable Alan R. Shaffer: The Honorable Alan R. Shaffer currently serves as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S). Confirmed by the Senate in January 2019, he is responsible to the Under Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to acquisition; contract administration; logistics and material readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; chemical, biological and nuclear weapons; the acquisition workforce; and the defense industrial base.

From 2015 to 2018, Mr. Shaffer served as the director of the NATO Collaboration Support Office in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. In this role, he was responsible for coordinating and synchronizing the Science and Technology (S&T) collaboration between NATO member and partner Nations, comprising a network of about 5,000 scientists. Previous to his role at NATO, Mr. Shaffer served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) from 2007-2015. In this position, Mr. Shaffer was responsible for formulating, planning and reviewing the DoD Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) programs, plans, strategies, priorities and execution of the DoD RDT&E budget that totals roughly $25 billion per year. He has also served twice as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering from 2007-2009 and 2012-2015.

Nazzic S. Keene: Nazzic S. Keene is chief executive officer of SAIC (NYSE: SAIC), headquartered in Reston, Virginia. With annual pro forma revenues of $7.1 billion and 25,500 employees, SAIC provides system integration, engineering and IT solutions to defense, intelligence and civilian agencies. Keene became CEO and was elected to SAIC’s Board of Directors in August 2019. She joined SAIC in 2012 and has previously held several increasingly responsible executive positions with the company, including chief operating officer, president of the company’s Global Markets & Missions sector and senior vice president for Corporate Strategy.

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As COO, a position she held starting in 2017, Keene was responsible for overseeing daily operations of the corporation, including its long-term strategy for sustained profitable growth. Keene has three decades of experience in the information systems and technology services industries, with more than 20 years in executive management. Prior to joining SAIC, Keene was the senior vice president and general manager for U.S. Enterprise Markets at CGI and led the company’s U.S. expansion. This included all aspects of strategy development and execution, operational excellence and leadership development. Keene began her career in the communications and IT industry after completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona.

I/ITSEC Conference History

Initiated in 1966 as the Naval Training Device Center/Industry Conference, the conference has evolved and expanded through increased participation by other entities. The Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, simulation industry and academia have joined with the Navy in sharing leadership of the conference and in 1979, the title of the conference was changed to the Interservice/Industry Training Equipment Conference. The services have steadily evolved toward a total systems philosophy in the acquisition of training equipment and training delivery systems.

In 1986, the conference name was further refined to the Interservice/Industry Training Systems Conference (I/ITSC) to recognize the increased importance of manpower, personnel and training aspects in the systems acquisition process. In 1992, the name was again changed to the Interservice/Industry Training Systems and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) to reflect the consolidation of the Manpower and Training Committee (MTC) and the Technology and Innovations in Training and Education (TITE) Conference with I/ITSEC.

This change emphasizes the importance of education and the human-machine interface in meeting force-training requirements through simulation training. Then, in 1997, the conference name was refined to the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) to reflect continued growth and changes in the industry.

More About The NTSA

NTSA provides the training, simulation, related support systems and training service industries a focused, formal organization to represent and promote their business interests in the marketplace. NTSA also fosters relationships between the training industry, planners and acquisition agencies regarding requirements, procurement issues and policies.

The NTSA is an affiliate subsidiary of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). Hence, I/ITSEC also emphasizes themes related to defense and security. Association objectives include:

  • Represent to the government the non-partisan business interests of the simulation, training and support services industries.
  • Increase the value of training systems and services provided by industry to government.
  • Inform and educate the legislative policymaking acquisition and regulatory functions of government, including Congress, the Department of Defense (DoD) and other agencies.
  • Provide direct contact between acquisition activities and the industry to better communicate with regard to procurement issues and policies.
  • Provide industry-wide bulletins and news reports.
  • Act as a clearing house for business policy, ethics and practices affecting industry.

“Our Industry has a very important job to do in providing the very best of training equipment and simulation technologies for our forces in the field,” said NTSA President James Robb. “We need to ensure that the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are better trained than ever before.”

Learn More About I/ITSEC 2021

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