75 Years of Innovation: FlexTrain multi-mission instrumentation system for training


The 75 Years of Innovation series highlights the groundbreaking innovations spanning from SRI’s founding in 1946 to today. Each week, SRI will release an innovation, leading up to its 75th anniversary in November 2021.


FlexTrain is a GPS-based instrumentation system used to track vehicles, units, and individual participants during training exercises or testing events

The National Guard plays a vital role in protecting the United States and its citizens. The National Guard not only responds to overseas conflicts but also helps in homeland emergencies and disasters. Recently, the National Guard has been deployed to help with COVID-19 and natural disasters such as the massive power outages in Texas in February 2021.

Building an elite, well-trained force such as the National Guard requires intensive training that takes trainees through simulated scenarios and conditions. National Guard personnel need to be able to respond to many types of conditions, terrain and circumstances that are often complex and dangerous. Training must prepare soldiers for a wide array of scenarios. SRI International’s FlexTrain system does just this.

The flexible FlexTrain used for National Guard training

Soldier is outfitted with SRI’s FlexTrain multi-mission instrumentation system for training

Since 2002, SRI has helped integrate live, virtual and constructive training elements on a common digital battlefield, ensuring that the National Guard’s soldier-readiness exercises are the best they can be. In 2005, SRI began supporting the Army National Guard’s eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC). SRI’s FlexTrain is the basis for XCTC. It allows trainers and coaches to provide detailed feedback on the exercises carried out by the trainees.

What is FlexTrain?

FlexTrain is a GPS-based instrumentation system used to track vehicles, units and individuals during training exercises or testing events. FlexTrain monitors and records all combat exercise activity. The captured data is then used to provide important feedback to trainees and optimize training events.

XCTC driven by FlexTrain

XCTC ensures that soldiers are combat-ready before deployment. It is a live training program that is proven to be highly effective in training pre-mobilization forces. As prime contractor to XCTC, SRI provided all design, planning and control of exercises via its FlexTrain™ multi-mission instrumentation system.

FlexTrain has several components that are well-suited to the training requirements of the National Guard:

  • It supports using the multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES) and tactical engagement simulation (TES) systems.
  • Communications equipment is provided via the First Responder Enhanced Dismounted Instrumentation (FREDI-2). This system includes GPS and is fully integrated with MILES
  • The system can be easily installed on vehicles.

Because National Guard training exercises can happen in environments without connectivity, captured data is stored on SD cards when a network is unavailable.

Ravenswood Solutions, SRI International and FlexTrain

In 2015, Ravenswood Solutions became a subsidiary of SRI to help take FlexTrain into a new era. Ravenwood Solutions entered the SRI family with an impressive track record in military training, having trained over 78,000 military personnel. As a subsidiary of SRI, Ravenswood was able to take full advantage of its exceptional research capability and experience. Ravenswood now provides FlexTrain in the form of Training as a Service (TaaS). The system tracks vehicles and participants at the soldier level, then uses intelligence gathered during training exercises to provide replay training sessions. These sessions are delivered using 2D and 3D tactical audio and embedded handheld video within minutes of mission completion.

The combination of SRI’s expertise in instrumentation and simulation technologies and Ravenswood’s military training experience provides effective solutions for National Guard training.


Ravenswood Solutions: https://www.ravenswoodsolutions.com/

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