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Simulation and modeling opportunities for Knights may be getting a boost, thanks to a recent agreement between UCF and the U.S. Navy.

UCF President John C. Hitt and Capt. Wes Naylor, commanding officer at the Naval Air Warfare Center, signed an education partnership agreement Tuesday at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference held at the Orange County Convention Center.

The purpose of the agreement, according to the document, is to "aid in educational experience at UCF, aid NAWCTSD engineers and other employees in executing their mission [and to] facilitate the identification of other mutually beneficial partnership opportunities."

As a result of the agreement, Hitt said both parties will benefit from increased collaboration efforts, lab and facilities sharing, internships for students interested in simulation and modeling and jointly pursued funding for projects "of significance and impact."

"We're proud to be long-term partners with the Department of Defense and Team Orlando in fostering a robust modeling and simulation industry," Hitt said at the signing. "The U.S. Navy has always been an anchor — no pun there — of the Central Florida Research Park adjacent to our campus. Today, UCF's strongest ties with the Navy grow stronger. This agreement we formalize with the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando opens broad new frontiers for research and innovations that stand to bolster the missions of the Center and of UCF."

Team Orlando refers to a collaboration with military simulation commands that is supported by academic and industry institutions, according to its website. Members of Team Orlando include the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training, the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, as well as nine others.

This is not the first time UCF had been a partner of the Department of Defense. UCF has already made a similar agreement with the U.S Army.

"Because of this agreement, many new initiatives are likely to unfold, and I can't wait to see the great advances the Navy and UCF will create together. We thank the Navy, the Center and its commanding officer Capt. Naylor for their essential vision commitment and hard work that have made this landmark occasion possible, and as we say at UCF, let's keep reaching for the stars," Hitt said.

I/ITSEC is the largest event of its kind in the world, according to a release from UCF News and Information, and draws 14,000 to 15,000 attendees to the convention center each year.

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