Northrop Grumman Connects US and International Crews in All-Virtual Air Mobility Command Training Exercise

Orlando, Fla. September 23, 2021

Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully organized and conducted a first-of-its-kind, fully distributed, international virtual training event for the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC). Coalition Virtual Guardian 2021 (CVG 21), involved air mobility partners from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in a synthetic exercise that mirrored activities and mission profiles in live training exercises.

The exercise was able to deliver adversary threats and tactical maneuver training opportunities not normally available during live exercises. Northrop Grumman executed the all-virtual event on the US Air Force Distributed Training Center Network (DTCN).

“We have developed and executed thousands of training events with realistic, high-fidelity scenarios for the Air Force,” said Terri Malone, vice president, mission readiness and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “Live military training exercises require a complex and expensive logistical effort, while simulation is safer and more cost-effective and allows for maximum participation – even from locations around the world.”

“Coalition Virtual Guardian is particularly noteworthy because it marks the beginning of on-demand air mobility exercises and training with coalition partners,” said Wing Commander Michael Tully of the Royal Australian Air Force.

A virtual air mobility training exercise of this size and scope was never before available to coalition aircrews, and CVG 21 established a benchmark for synthetic events and coalition exercises. Earlier in the year, Northrop Grumman delivered a blend of Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) capabilities during Northern Edge 21, the US Indo-Pacific Command-sponsored joint training exercise at the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex and the Gulf of Alaska. The biannual exercise is focused on joint task force tactical- and operational-level requirements and transformation initiatives, which this year included joint all-domain command and control (JADC2).

During CVG 21 events, participants “flew” a number of virtual weapon systems, including C-17 and C-130 aircraft, from simulators at their home bases. The disparate crews were able to interact on the DTCN in an immersive constructive environment consisting of a variety of fighters, bombers, airborne command, control and communications platforms, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance aircraft, air-refueling tankers, and ground personnel such as airfield tower controllers and drop zone control officers.

Air crews faced many constructive threats created by Northrop Grumman, including surface-to-air missiles, fighter and rotary-wing aircraft, electronic warfare, ground forces with small arms and air defense artillery, and enemy naval forces. Northrop Grumman, in concert with coalition planning staffs, developed the entire CVG training scenario, including threat plots, flight and communications plans, navigation charts and more to meet learning objectives designated by AMC and coalition partners.