The Distributive Battle Simulation Program: A Modern-day Answer to Ancient Rome’s God of Gates and Doors

 

Written by Sgt. Scott Faddis

640th Regional Training Institute

Published November 29, 2005

       

 

Staff Sgt. Robert Burns (left) and Sgt. James Marvin work together as C. Company Commander and Fire Support NCO, planning their movements as an armor company. 

Photo by Sgt. Scott Faddis

Staff Sgt. Robert Burns, left, and Sgt. James Marvin work together

as Charlie Company commander and Fire Support noncommissioned officer, planning their movements as an armor company. 

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah In a dimly lit room at the Salt Lake-Utah County line, a battle rages.  The sounds of freedom ring as artillery suppress the enemy through superior firepower.  The mechanized infantry move to higher ground as armored units sweep the area. 

 

This conflict is not between U.S. forces and some foreign invading power; it is being fought on Janus, the Army’s high-tech, battle-simulation program. 

 

The Distributive Battle Simulation Program (DBSP) is named after Janus, the Roman god of portals.  Janus the god had the ability to see the beginning and the end, and in a similar way, Janus the program allows Soldiers to see the beginning of the battle all the way to end.

 

This battle is the capstone event for the Fire Support Specialist Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (13F BNCOC).  It allows them to take the training during their two weeks at the 640th Regiment Regional Training Institute (RTI) and turn it into a working fire-support plan. 

 

According to National Guard Bureau Janus contractor Matt Carlisle, students develop a plan during training and receive immediate feedback on their strategy. 

 

Don Brown, Janus Database Administrator, studies the Janus screen, surveying the ongoing battlefield.

Photo by Sgt. Scott Faddis

Don Brown, Janus Database Administrator, studies

the Janus screen, surveying the ongoing battlefield.

“This battle-simulation program gives students the opportunity to fight against a living, breathing, thinking enemy,” said Carlisle.

During simulation students are able to see the entire battle unfold before their eyes.  They can see the beginning and the end, and experience the battle from different dimensions, not unlike the original Janus of Roman mythology. Janus also gives students valuable experience with battle tactics that they likely would not otherwise gain until much later in their careers.

 

Staff Sgt. Brian Kerr, Detachment 1, Headquarters Battery 143rd Field Artillery, based in California, recently returned from Afghanistan and believes this training will really help him in his development as a fire-support leader.

 

“Janus gives us the ability to work with something that is difficult to do in real life,” said Kerr, referring to having artillery, infantry and armor units arrayed simultaneously in one place for training.

 

“The ability to have maneuver and fires together at the same time usually only happens during Annual Training or warfighter exercises,” Kerr added. 

 

Acting Charlie Company commander (Armor) Staff Sgt. Robert Burns from Kentucky’s  238th RTI learned how his Fire

 Support Team (FIST) can interact better with the armor and infantry units they support.

 

“Being company commander let me know what my job is on the FIST and how I can support my commander.  I learned the things that he is looking for and how I can better keep him protected,” said Burns. 

 

Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown (left) call in "Give me more smoke."  Staff Sgt. Steve Kraft is functioning as the A. Company Commander as his element is breaching the minefield. 

Photo by Sgt. Scott Faddis

Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown (left) call in "Give me more smoke."  Staff Sgt. Steve Kraft is functioning as the A. Company Commander as his element is breaching the minefield.