Consolidation of simulators makes training a one stop shop

18 May 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

Marines and sailors formerly had to travel to different parts of base to use the the Combat Convoy Simulator, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle Egress Trainer and other simulators aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Thanks to consolidation efforts, now these service members only have to make one stop, the Sim Center on Lyman Road.

The simulators create a realistic training environment for those service members preparing for combat. They are used extensively by many deploying units as part of their pre-deployment training blocks.

The MRAP Egress Trainer teaches Marines how to egress from an MRAP that is flipped on its side or is upside down. This is a valuable skill for any warrior especially those fighting the war on terror overseas.

“During the current war, we had some Marines become trapped when the MRAP rolled over into an irrigation ditch and drown,” said Stephen Olmstead, Deputy Director of Modeling and Simulations. “Marines need to know how to evacuate an MRAP if it rolls over.”

The MRAP Egress Trainer is made up of a vehicle cab that is mounted on two rotating wheels on a raised platform. It is based off an earlier rollover trainer, the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer which is also available at the simulating center.

Along with the MET and the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer, the Combat Convoy Simulator is also available for units to take advantage of.

The CCS simulates a convoy through hostile territory. The controller can call in a variety of affects like air strikes, indirect fire or produce opponents armed with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.

“The CCS is probably the best learning tool that can apply to a deployment,” said Henry Trumble, the site manager of Modeling and Simulations. “They get to experience combat and see the terrain they will be actually encountering when they deploy, but still be in a safe environment.”

The CCS not only benefits the vehicle operator, but the passengers as well. Marines familiarize themselves with vehicle and small arms weapons utilization, command and control of various vehicles and also improvised explosive device countermeasures.

The CCS goes as far as taking the Iraqi environment or the Afghanistan terrain and implementing it into the simulator. What Marines see is real locations not some made up environment.

“Marines who come through the CCS recognize buildings from Fallujah,” said Olmstead. “Currently we are working on an Afghan database to prepare Marines for what they may encounter in Afghanistan.”

The Supporting Arms Virtual Trainer is currently under construction and after final renovations, Marines can use it to call for indirect fire, bombardments and different types of close air support.

“We don’t know what’s coming next, as far as simulators go, but this is the future,” said Olmstead. “With the consolidation of the simulators units can accomplish more training in a shorter amount of time.”

For more information about the simulators and to schedule a training time units may contact their S-3 operations shop.