MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines training in Enhanced Mojave Viper, the installation’s premier combined arms pre-deployment training exercise, turn to the Battle Simulation Center in Camp Wilson to enhance their understanding of cultures they may encounter while they are deployed.
The Deployable Virtual Training Environment is a simulation designed to teach Marines up to five languages, cultural nuances, convoy operations and the steps to call for fire support. The language program even teaches the Marines parts of languages other commercial language learning programs don’t, said George Hernandez, an instructor at the Battle Simulation Center.
“It focuses on military terms and words like ‘gun’ and ‘bomb,’ where you won’t learn those with programs like Rosetta Stone.”
Of the five languages the DVTE offers, which are tactical French, Iraqi, Pashtu, Dari and tactical Indonesian, the Marines learn basic phrases and interact with virtual people of that culture. Depending on how well the Marines retain the knowledge of the language is how happy or irritated the responses of the virtual villagers are.
“It really helps and allows us to understand the basis of the language and culture,” said Cpl. Jacob Primrose, a Marine from 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., who is currently participating in EMV.
“Learning things like this will help us win the hearts and minds of the people,” added Gunnery Sgt. Corey Woodrich, a platoon sergeant in Mobility Assault Co. for 2nd CEB. “The more we know them and the more they know us, the better our chances are they are willing to help us.”
The simulation also teaches Marines the steps needed to call in fire. It’s a good way for Marines to learn and actually call in fire without taking the time or recourses to do it in real life, Hernandez said. It also gives the Marines a chance to learn how to fix their mistakes if they mess up, he added.
Much like when using the Combat Convoy Simulator, which is also located at the Battle Simulation Center, the Marines can interact with each other virtually on their computers to practice convoy operations.
This program allows the Marines to work together while utilizing time and creating room for mistakes in a virtual setting, said Hernandez, a native of Bellport, N.Y.
“Marines came back from Iraq really appreciating this program,” Hernandez said. “They enjoyed not having an interpreter with them everywhere they went. Also, the people really appreciated Americans having some knowledge of their language.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment for any of the four simulations at the Battle Simulation Center, call 830-4192.