The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) is the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event. Jefferson Institute President Aaron Presnall co-organized and moderated one of I/ITSEC 2023’s signature events, “Train While You Fight: Ukraine as a Touchstone for Training in Future Wars.” The roundtable brought together military training and education leaders to discuss how NATO allies and partner nations can apply the lessons we are learning from the war in Ukraine to develop dynamic military instruction that will meet the requirements of modern warfare’s rapidly changing battlespace and battle rhythm.

“We need to equip our warfighters to learn and adapt in real-time to meet the mission under any conditions. Across the Department, we’re focused on educating and training for uncertainty.”

Caroline Baxter
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense,
Force Education and Training

This was the Jefferson Institute’s tenth year participating in the annual conference, which is organized and sponsored by the National Training & Simulation Association (NTSA). I/ITSEC aims to foster cooperation among the armed forces, industry, academia, and government agencies to improve training and education programs, identify common training issues, and develop multi-service programs.

November 29, 2023

The panel emphasized the need to go beyond the traditional concept of training and education as preparation for war, viewing it also as a capability for operations in wartime that is essential to sustain the fight. The conflict in Ukraine demonstrates that victory in modern warfare requires us to train and educate while we fight, helping our forces adapt to meet changing needs in complex environments. This includes data-driven insights that enable the acquisition, development, and delivery of education and training solutions to equal today’s accelerated speed of relevance.

“Complex, hybrid, multidomain campaigning demands interoperable, resilient, sustainable, survivable, agile, and responsive training capabilities.”

Dr. Aaron Presnall
Jefferson Institute President

The roundtable noted that next year’s 75th anniversary of NATO provides a unique opportunity to begin a process of transforming multinational education and training. As with fighting, in training we are stronger together. Engagement with allies and partners enhances our collective deterrence and defense, and the integration of training must match our efforts to integrate military technology into a shared environment.