Saturday, February 26, 2011

Convoy combat training

Posted by John McHale.

We've all read the stories or seen the newscasts about how dangerous convoys are in Iraq and Afghanistan -- facing hidden improvised explosive devices (IEDs), snipers, and shelling. It would seem an impossible scenario to train for, but engineers at Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics in Orlando, Fla., have developed a training system that does just that with actual convoy trucks driving through a synthetic environment with un-tethered training weapons.

This week I got the opportunity to try out the company's Combat Convoy Simulator (CCS), which provides an immersive training environment for a variety of military vehicles, including the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) and the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) for the U.S. Marine Corps. According to the system data sheet during each training mission, the vehicle commander and a crew of up to four students are presented with realistic terrain, weather, and threat environments focused on warfare scenarios such as re-supply, patrol, logistics support, high-value target extraction, medical evacuation and calls for close air support/calls for fire. After the mission planning is complete, each training mission focuses on defending against current and evolving threats.

I chose the gunner role, having to fire the heavy gun turret on top of the vehicle while it was "moving" through a synthetic Afghanistan town and being shelled. I'm just a journalist in a suit, in a simulation, and could barely control that thing. The thought of actually driving through a hot zone in Iraq at night is scary as hell.

The weapons had a bit of recoil, which I was told is similar to what live weapons feel like.

Lockheed Martin has facilities where they group together about six different simulators create a virtual convoy to help warfighters learn how to communicate when the world around them is literally exploding.

Thanks to Heather Kelly, Lockheed Martin Communications, and the technicians and engineers at Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics for the experience.

1 comment:

  1. US Debt-to-GDP Ratio Approaching 100% as DoD Boondoggle Billions Flow to Lockheed Martin: First in Funding, First in Fraud

    US total debt $55.6 trillion ... US national debt $14.1 trillion ... US federal budget deficit $1.5 trillion ... US Debt-to-GDP Ratio 97% and rising ... U.S. dollar rapidly losing world reserve currency status ... as U.S. politicians bought and paid for by multinational corporations (legalized by Citizens United vs. FEC) cut education, close schools, convert asphalt roads to gravel and accelerate America's descent into oblivion just so they can dole out millions daily to Lockheed Martin and other repeat-offender federal contractors for Rube Goldberg weapons systems and myriad military and non-defense boondoggles as unnecessary, unaffordable and unjustifiable as our unending wars for oil and profit: