One dozen Marines and sailors rushed through the artificial world of the Combat Convoy Simulator and mounted their vehicles, acting as a Quick Reaction Force. Their objective was to provide aid to their comrades located in another realm, that of the Deployable Virtual Training Environment. With new capabilities of the Battle Simulation Center, these two worlds converged for the first time, expanding the virtual battle field and improving upon the Corps’ training spectrum.
The DVTE and CCS, two training aids provided by Camp Wilson’s Simulation Center, were merged for the first time during Integrated Training Exercise 2-15, Feb 11, 2015. This allowed Marines and sailors from Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 to operate simultaneously with in both simulators, while following orders from one centralized, simulated Combat Operations Center. This gave them a capability, which was never before possible in Marine Corps combat simulation.
“This is the first time multiple combat simulators have been added together on a company-sized level,” said Capt. Peter Ciaston, Company C Commander, MWSS 371, native of Jersey City, N.J. “We have incorporated the CCS and the DVTE to report to a [simulated] COC in real time. All three simulations are able to see the same world, communicate with each other, and provide the Marines with the most realistic training possible with a condensed time line.”
The CCS is an immersive training environment for convoy operations to include basic procedures for driver, gunner and passenger in tactical scenarios related to combat operations, and the DVTE is a laptop PC-based simulation system capable of emulating organic and support infantry battalion weapons systems and training scenarios to facilitate training and readiness-based training. The combination of simulators is designed to improve how the Marines respond to operational situations. If a Marine takes enemy fire or a military vehicle flips over, the unit is able respond appropriately, and waits for requested support in real time.
“One of the biggest things that improved since we started this type of exercise was how the Marines sent information to the COC,” said Cpl. Brett Cleary, fire team leader, Company C, MWSS 371, native of Boise, Idaho. “Before, the COC had to pull the information from the Marines on post; now the Marines send information up on their own and the COC is overflowing with information like it should be.”
After working through initial system errors, MWSS 371 effectively utilized the simulator for the remaining two days to improve their skills.
“We have been able to keep the Marines training for approximately 10 hours a day; and they rotate positions every 5 hours,” Ciaston said. “We have accumulated about 30 hours of training over the last three days. I have seen a drastic improvement in the way the Marines watch their post or field of fire, as well as what they report to the COC. I feel when we are tested at the end of our ITX we will be able to run our drills much smoother.”