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 Camp Wilson convoy simulators train MCAGCC Marines in 360? virtual reality

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Date posted: 17/05/2008

In Marine Corps Air/Ground combat centre Twentynine Palms, in California, USA, a group of marines, equipped to the rafters with everything they could need, load into a humvee transport, for a routine patrol.

On a sunny day, on the streets of Fallujah, a humvee loaded with marines moves out on patrol. An improvised explosive device brings them up short after a couple of miles, and they call in the explosive ordnance disposal team. Whilst they await the team?s arrival, a sniper opens up fire on them, and one is shot. It is now in their hands to get him med-evaced, and quick.

Both above scenarios transpired at the same place. Both exist solely within Twentynine Palms military base. This is only one of several scenarios different units receive during convoy simulator training. The purpose of the training is to prepare Marines who are going overseas with the proper training to handle the numerous situations they will experience during different missions.

?This is a fully immersible convoy simulator,? said Staff Sgt. Hector Viramontes, tactics instructor. ?So it teaches Marines tactics, techniques, procedures and combat convoy operations. Units can come in here and evaluate their Marines on the different things they can experience overseas.?

There are currently four different simulators at Camp Wilson in use for convoy training. Each trailer contains the exact same set-up as the others. The simulators contain a 360 screen which displays actual terrain from Baghdad and Fallujah. They also contain a replica of a humvee equipped with M16-A2 service rifles and a movable turret manned with a .50-caliber machine gun.

The 360-degree virtual screen resembles actual terrain from Fallujah and Baghdad
(Credit: Lance Cpl. Katelyn A. Knauer)

?The training can take a minimum of four hours to complete, but units can stay here for several days,? said Staff Sgt. Frank Villaverde. ?Each scenario takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete and we train anywhere from 300 to 350 Marines a week.?

?What happens is there are basic things in each scenario and we have the capability to add things as the Marines go through each scenario. So, if they react to something a certain way, we can alter a scenario based on their reactions to certain things,? said Viramontes.

?In these scenarios, they can see civilians, enemies with weapons, children, women, dead animals on the road, they can call for helicopter support they can call for fixed wing support, and call for EOD? said Viramontes. ?It tests their decision making skills and helps them practice their immediate action drills.?

?We generally have an extremely good response back from the Marines,? said Viramontes. ?What usually takes months to plan in live training, we can do in five minutes here.?

See the full Story via external site: www.marines.mil

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