New simulation technology heading to five naval bases by 2025

Thirteen years after Navy commanders first identified the need for sophisticated, interwoven simulator training, the first iteration of the live virtual construction training environment is nearly ready to debut at Navy Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in California. Within two years, officials say, LVC-TEs will operate at five bases across the Corps, and the Marines will press ahead with plans to form a virtual training network with other services, providing the effect of large-scale joint exercises in a fraction. of cost.

Or at least that’s the hope.

The plan, dubbed Project Tripoli, aims to increase meaningful “actors and groups” by giving more Marines access to a realistic, simulated training environment that allows them to interact with battle buddies and other units as if they were in combat. In essence, the project will connect five existing virtual training tools — from an in-service simulated shooter trainer and VBS3 first-person shooter simulator to a flight simulator to a virtual distributed flight training environment — so that Marines can communicate and move in the simulation in relation to other forces. .

While this may not provide the exact sights, sounds, and smells of combat, planners say the result will be more quality training available live, even with limited resources and complex logistics.

It’s cheaper, too: While standard pre-deployment training costs $8 million, officials think they can bring the cost down to $5.2 million by eliminating the map exercise and integrating up to a dozen simulations.

Capt. Garrett Lovellman, modeling and simulation officer in the Training and Education Programs Division of the Training and Education Command, discussed the technology Thursday during the Modern Day Marine exhibit. Introduced a potential “400 virtual range”—a reference to the more realistic live-fire range of the Legion in Twentynine Palms used to train company-wide elements in complex combat missions, such as attacking fortified positions.

He said that every aspect of this raptor company, from mortars to compact weapons, can be replicated and networked at LVCTE while participants experience real-time training. “The only time you get it [now] In a full, high-fidelity experience, it takes place at Twentynine Palms,” Loeffelman said. “Imagine if you were a company commander at Camp Lejeune: You could train all of those skills. You can even combine them with your squad leaders and above.”

The version of LVC-TE released at Twentynine Palms is referred to as a “minimum viable solution”. Lovellman said command officials plan to gather feedback from the Marines on the simulators in order to improve planned future iterations.

“We are not replacing the Range 400 with these systems,” said Col. James Kidd, Director of Range Programs and Training. “What we do is we make the live ammunition portion when you hit the 400th range more useful to the user.”

All three Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters will feature the LVCTE equipped by 2025, as will the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii – a key location due to its collaboration with the Indo-Pacific Command’s Pacific War Center.

LVC-TE Team Leader Joe Lomangino has reiterated his plans for simulated network training between armed forces in hopes of launching large-scale joint exercises that will be completely virtual.

“We don’t fight by ourselves, right? We don’t fly alone,” he said. “So this has to be connected.”

But some kinks still have to be resolved. There is the technical “fair combat” problem found in the live simulation, where the environment cannot be updated quickly enough, leaving two warriors facing different scenarios and asymmetric challenges. Bidders said Thursday that the problem is still there and likely to exist for years due to immature technology.

It is also unclear how hypothetical training that includes, for example, air and ground combat elements will be coordinated with legacy Marine Corps no-category training and readiness standards for such an exercise.

Lovellman acknowledged that there was a “gap,” but said planners are working to refine training and pay manuals in order to improve communication and coordination across different units.

There is a cultural aspect as well, especially when it comes to routines around Marines working in a training network.

“Why a battalion commander can sign off on the dangers of live-fire training, but it basically takes a [general officer] To sign the risk of spillage? “These are all questions we are trying to solve,” he asked.

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