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President's Corner


A Message From NTSA President RADM James Robb, USN (Ret)

Happy 50th Birthday I/ITSEC!! The world’s largest training and simulation conference celebrates five decades of excellence. I congratulate the long line of Conference Chairs and volunteers that have created a remarkable legacy of support to the training and simulation community. My most sincere thanks to our planning teams that have set new standards for quality and scope in the conference program each year for half a century. What started as a gathering of 193 in 1966 has grown to over 15,000 in 2016.

I/ITSEC 2016 is tracking to be a record year for government engagement. The interest by senior officials continues to be impressive with keynotes at the Service Chief level and an ever growing number of decision makers and engineers. The service approval process continues to improve and every senior leader that attends is overwhelmed by the tremendous value proposition presented at I/ITSEC. We will also see a significant return of junior officers and enlisted that have been blocked for several years. These future leaders are critical to the success of our mission.

This year’s conference program is spectacular. We begin the week Monday morning hosting members of congress that support the training and simulation community. This will be an exciting event - given the results of the recent election - and is routinely standing room only.

For the opening ceremonies Tuesday, we are honored to have Major General Robert McMurry, Commander, Air Force Research Laboratory and Daniel Serfaty, Founder and CEO of Aptima, Inc. as our Government and Industry keynotes. The Flag/General Officer panel that follows is extremely rich with representation from OSD, all the services, and NATO. This will be followed up Tuesday afternoon by a major panel session featuring Air Force Senior leader perspectives on LVC – Air Force Live, Virtual, Constructive Operational Training (LVC-OT) General Officer Steering Group” (GOSG). Don’t miss it.

On Wednesday morning we have a special event featuring the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, who will give a keynote and then participate in a panel discussion with key Navy senior leaders from the training and acquisition domains. Seating will be tight for this signature event. The Navy and Marine Corps are bringing a large number of flag and general officers leading their requirements, acquisition and training commands for the second year in a row. Interest and Awareness in the power and value of I/ITSEC continues to grow.

Your I/ITSEC Program Committee put together another world class program that highlights panels on Cyber, Cloud-Based Simulation, Modular Open Systems Approaches, Spectrum Solutions, and LVC. We also have a robust International agenda with speakers from around the globe featuring panels from Europe and the Asia Pacific Simulation Alliance.

I/ITSEC 2016 will feature the continuation of two special events inaugurated last year. The first is Operation Blended Warrior, which will bring together capabilities from over 50 government and industry entities in an LVC network on the exhibit floor, as they fight their way through challenging scenarios. The second major theme is Black Swan. Black Swans are low probability but extremely high impact events that have or will dramatically affect the global condition. We will continue our multi-year theme with dynamic presentations on Thursday and continue this thread into 2017. Come explore the virtual world of the unthinkable.

The I/ITSEC exhibition hall will host over 500 companies and organizations again this year. The international presence continues to be very strong with a new presence from Bulgaria and increased presence from Germany, Israel, Norway and Canada. In addition, the European Training and Simulation Association (ETSA) and Canada will host pavilions on the show floor. The International program includes opportunities for international attendees to schedule meetings with government and industry.

NTSA continues to invest in technology that improves the attendee and exhibitor experience at I/ITSEC. This year we are building on the success of our new Show Management application that allows attendees and exhibitors to digitally interact with the Conference schedule and the “digital show floor.” Attendees will be able to “Plan your Show” by searching and sorting conference and show content in real time. The enhanced exhibitor profiles include highlights, videos and the ability to set up visits and interact with booth personnel. Exhibitors and Attendees, please ensure you take advantage of these features.

Special thanks to Debbie Langelier for putting together another world class exhibition and to Dino Pignotti for his two decades of effort putting together the I/ITSEC exhibit guide. I also thank all of you for joining me and over 15,000 of your international team mates here in Orlando for the largest training and simulation event on the planet. Please join us at the Banquet Thursday evening to celebrate I/ITSEC’s 50th!

RADM James Robb, USN (Ret)
NTSA President

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