Combat Convoy Simulator lets Marines engage in any terrain, environment

1 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

Marines of second platoon, Truck Company Bravo, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division took on the Combat Convoy Simulator, recently.

The simulator allows for training to be conducted in up to a 12 vehicle convoy. Each simulator is in it’s own room but when the projections are displayed service members are able to see the other vehicles and sectors of fire. Being able to see another vehicle and where their weapon was pointed allowed for a 360 degree area of protection which was essential in completing their objective.

The mission required of the unit was for them to deliver ammunition, meals, ready to eat and water to a weapons company who were in the field.

They were given three humvees and two 7-tons to deliver the supplies. The lead humvee was equipped with a M-2 Browning machine gun while the remaining vehicles were mounted with a different array of weapons.

During the movement the lead humvee went over a hill and came to a stop when it saw something in the distance. The assistant gunner used binoculars to see what the commotion was up ahead.

In the distance were insurgents executing civilians, who, once they saw the Marines quickly went to their vehicles for cover and opened fire on the convoy.

The convoy quickly returned fire, and called in a bombing run on the insurgents and around an hour later came upon the unit to whom the supplies were supposed to be delivered.

“This is just one of the many different scenarios and environments that the Combat Convoy Simulator can do,” said Steven Greenawalt, field service representative with Pulau Corp. “There are 18 scenarios and each one can be tweaked to fit whatever the commander requests.”

The tweaks range from improvised explosive devices and rocket propelled grenade fire to vehicle malfunctions and any number of enemy forces.

The CCS is a real-time simulator which consists of two buildings, each equipped with their own command center, four humvees and two 7-tons. The buildings can work both separately or together which allows for a convoy of 12 vehicles.

However that is not the only thing that the CCS is capable of. Commanders can get a bird’s-eye-view of the whole convoy, see where the gunner’s fields of fire are and call in different scenarios.

The whole time the simulation is occurring it can be recorded which is an added bonus of working with the CSS.

“When we were done we reviewed the key parts,” said Cpl. Giovanni Bianchi, a motor transport operator with Truck Company Bravo, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. “Our staff sergeant was able to point out where we messed up and what we needed to work on.”

So far there have been roughly a 1,000 Marines who have come through the simulator since it first arrived mid-June of last year. Currently there is an eight-week wait list for Marines who wish to train in the CCS.

“We’ve been getting great feedback,” said Greenawalt. “Marines on Lejeune are starting to see the value in this training and are quickly signing up.”