Meet the ION, Training for the Future, Today

Story by Spc. Tyler Morford.
… As Soldiers from the 308th Civil Affairs Brigade, Homewood Illinois, and the 415th Civil Affairs Battalion, Kalamazoo, Michigan, gain experience at Fort Custer Training Center during a validation and evaluation exercise, a controlled network called the ION, utilized more than 15 miles away, designed to simulate current and future operational environments is employed to digitally, and physically, engage these Soldiers in an efficient way, cutting both time and resources that would have been spent on training.
The ION, or Information Operations Network, is a closed intranet network that can digitally replicate a city, continent, or theater of operation through the production of replicated websites, social media outlets, news articles, and fictional state or non-state actors within training scenarios in order to physically and digitally engage Civil Affairs Soldiers who gain real-world experience in a multidomain operational environment. An exercise format is created based on the unit’s specific training needs according to their operational environment; during the unit’s training, content is injected into their digital environment in real-time, influencing the unit’s real-time decisions.
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