WASHINGTON – The Army’s plans for simulation training are not confined to the lab — or even to training.

The service’s Cross Functional Team-Synthetic Training Environment applied their One World Terrain project to Afghanistan during the withdrawal this summer, according to team commander, Brig. Gen. William Glaser.

One World Terrain can build virtual maps of territory all over the globe. When soldiers know they’re going to a particular hotspot, the idea is that One World Terrain can simulate the area.

The One World Terrain team delivered to the 82nd Airborne Division a 3-D representation of Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The capability allowed analysts and commanders to gain a more accurate and detailed perspective into the area in and around the airport, including areas of concern where crowds were massing, and vulnerabilities associated with airfield operations.

One World Terrain capture kits, which include drones, controllers, tablets and cloud-supported software, have been provided to more than a dozen units and supporting organizations over the past two years, including the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 25th Infantry Division in the Indo-Pacific region.

The effort has amounted to more than 3.5 million square kilometers of 3-D terrain shared to units.

“[One World Terrain] has produced the largest and most extensive corpus of 3D terrain data across the DoD,” Glaser said in an email. “The program continues to churn out data quarterly in support of training, simulation, rehearsal, intelligence, operations and post-mission assessment.”

One World Terrain teams have also been working closely with the Joint Staff to advance 3-D geographic intelligence across the Defense Department, according to Glaser.

The work includes joint fires, Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at the operational and strategic levels in events such as Project Convergence, down to the organic collection and production of rapid, high-resolution geographic intelligence alongside Naval Special Warfare units and Marine Expeditionary Units, Glaser said.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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