The Battle Simulation Center supports the Corps by providing units with various training simulations that assist in individual, small unit and staff level operations. The technology available helps the Marines feel a sense of realism of their environment as well as provide communication with artillery units, aircrafts and other Marines.
The Battle Simulation Center trains approximately 15,000 Marines annually from units throughout the Marine Corps. They will continue to provide Marines the training they need in preparation for their field exercises and ultimately their deployments.
In constructive training the Marines can see what is supposed to be done in certain situations. Once the Marines understand what to do they move onto virtual training, where they can put their knowledge into action. The simulations allow the Marines to receive live feedback from their instructors, this allows the Marines to make mistakes and be corrected without risk of injury or loss of resources. After the Marines have had a chance to practice and be coached in a safe environment they can move on to live training.
“When we have to conduct certain exercises in which we believe the risk of injury is too high, so we practice in the simulations first. When the Marines go to do the live exercise then the risk is much lower since the Marines know how to react to each situation.”
The BSC provides training for any size unit from individual to regiment, for any warfighting discipline from infantry to logistics, and from all parts of the combat spectrum from full scale war to establishing local governance.
“We break up our training into live, virtual, and constructive training,” Live training consists of real people using real systems, virtual training is live people using virtual systems and constructive training is virtual people using virtual systems.”
“The different weapons the Marines train with in the simulation can range from the M9 service pistol to mortars, shot guns, and heavy machine guns,” The center also has different vehicle simulations where Marines can practice movement of troops dealing with enemy resistance, and many other situations where Marines would have to think on their feet.”
A simulation complex includes the large task trainers as well as a small simulation center. All of the vehicle and convoy simulators are housed at Camp Wilson. Camp Wilson offers a wide array of simulation opportunities for visiting units.
The BSC was stood up at the Combat Center in 1996 and originally offered only a couple of training simulations, the MAGTF Tactical Warfare Simulation and the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation.
MTWS focused primarily on larger-scale training, meaning the company, battalion and regimental levels, while JCATS was designed to train Marines at the fire team through platoon levels.
The Battle Simulation Center works closely with the MAGTF Integrated Systems Training Center, which focuses of command and control systems training. To date, the BSC offers 10 different training simulators and the MISTC hosts seven training programs.
In addition to the numerous simulators the BSC has to offer, it is also working on integrating simulations with live training exercises.“One of the things we’re looking at is the integration of live forces in the field with virtual and constructive simulation.
If a company is training in the field alone, we can simulate other units on the battlefield that don’t really exist, but are needed for staff planning purposes.”Constructive simulation is currently being used by the BSC and is fully operational.
CPX-2 is a two-part training event that focuses on training battalion staff and is a part of TALONEX 2-18, a pre-deployment training event that coincides with Weapons and Tactics Instructors Course.
Throughout CPX-2, Marines at the Battle Simulation Center utilized multiple simulations in conjunction with other units at Camp Wilson aboard the Combat Center, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. This is all part of an effort called Marine Air Ground Task Force Tactical Integrated Training Environment.
"The idea behind the MAGTF TITE effort is to create a persistent capability which permits collective training in a distributed and constructive environment in order to enhance integrated training," "During TALONEX 2-18, Marine pilots, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, the Direct Air Support Center and Fire Support Coordination Center/Fire Direction Center will train in conjunction with battalion staff using distributed simulation."
CPX-2 utilized a constructive simulation called MAGTF Tactical Warfare Simulation, which served as the hub for the training. To run their high-fidelity cockpit trainers and to fly a virtual unmanned aircraft system, the Battle Simulation Center used a virtual simulation called Virtual Battle Space 3.
"Using multiple simulations together does create a lot of challenges and issues, such as making sure that one model that comes up in one simulation will appear the same way in another and making sure that the terrain is the same across all platforms,""We continue to work through these issues to try to refine the simulations and make them more realistic."
Another goal of the MAGTF TITE initiative is to provide more realistic training for Marines. According to the Ground Training Simulation Implementation Plan of June 2017, using simulations allows Marines and units to replicate situations and conditions that are more difficult to enact in certain on-the-ground training environments.
"This training helps to emphasise operational cohesion by providing more realism in an exercise where you're relying on the proficiency of other Marines, as well as the realistic nature of the uncertainty and miscommunication that can occur when it's real individuals participating instead of a role player," "It allows for more development on critical thinking and exposure to non-standard events and increased integration with external factors."
We are getting the support and flexibility from the Marines who are participating because they understand that there are challenges associated with experimental training exercises," "The feedback we get from them helps to shape the way we move forward with setting up future simulation-based exercises. This wouldn't be possible without the support of the Marines and agencies participating."
Virtual Battle Space 1 and 2:
VBS 1/2 are PC-based first-person viewpoints of a fully functional battlefield that focus on smaller-unit operations. VBS2 is currently more advanced and more prevalent than its older counterpart. Depending on the demands of the individual units, VBS can take the form of many different combat scenarios and environments, which can immerse between one and 100 Marines into a virtual world where small-unit leaders can test their standard operating procedures, as well as conduct rehearsals on the same terrain they will be likely walking to in the near future.
MAGTF Tactical Warfare Simulation:
MTWS is a “birds-eye-view” of a battlefield that allows unit commanders to practice command and control functions, and standard operating procedures. The simulation offers real-time engagement and movement, and mission recording for after-action review. Commanders using MTWS can receive orders from their combat operations center for their units and carry out those orders through the simulation.
Forward Observer PC Simulation:
FOPCSim is another PC-based first-person viewpoint, similar to VBS, only focusing on a forward observer calling for artillery fire support. The purpose of the simulator is to hone the individual Marines’ call-for-fire skills on stationary and mobile targets. The program can be used by itself as well as integrated with other simulators, which make up the Combined Arms Network.
Combined Arms Planning Tool:
The CAPT program is designed to test the elements of a commander’s fire support plan. It is able to test a fire support plan and identify potential problems based on war fighting doctrine, which is incorporated into the program.
Virtual Combat Convoy Trainer:
This training simulator consists of four mock High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles with a 360-degree view. VCCT is designed to simulate convoy operations in a combat environment. It can be used alongside other simulations to familiarise Marines with how to use convoys in conjunction with other operations.
Operator Driver Simulator:
ODS is a training program used to teach Marines how to operate HMMWVs, Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements, known as seven-ton trucks, and, coming soon, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. The system can simulate a number of driving conditions in most foreign areas of operation.
HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer:
The purpose of HEAT is to simulate HMMWVs in rollover conditions. It teaches Marines the proper ways to exit a vehicle that is upside down and assist fellow Marines who were injured in the rollover. Marines are also required to transport injured Marines to safety and secure the simulated rollover site.
MISTC is designed to train MAGTF commanders and battle staffs in the art and science of command and control so they can better organise, deploy, fight and defeat the enemy.
VR and immersive learning simulations can be used to assess whether employees are best suited to a given role or set of roles, as well as to better understand how candidates and managers would behave in real-world scenarios..
In contrast with traditional methods, assessment in VR captures far more comprehensive data that can be analysed. Subjective ratings of confidence, satisfaction and engagement can be obtained so teams can determine if learning has actually occurred and challenged the learner. These can be combined with data from eye gaze, heat maps and more, providing insights into the attentional processes and engagement of the learner. This data can be used to iterate towards an optimal training solution.
Because it improves the efficiency of training activities and reduces costs, virtual reality plays a key role in industries where people spend hundreds of hours every year maintaining equipment.
The construction sector is involved in the digital revolution, using building information modeling technology to generate digital representations of the physical, technical and functional characteristics of buildings based on data.
Technology can be used to collect data such as pressure and temperature readings from sensors to determine the overall state of the equipment. In the construction industry, a maintenance technician can use augmented reality to “see” the interior workings of a building, such as the electrical cables behind a suspended ceiling or the pipes hidden behind a concrete wall.
With augmented reality, information is superimposed on a tablet, a smartphone, glasses, or even directly on equipment using a projector. These systems free technicians from having to consult manuals and, in the case of augmented reality glasses, even free technicians’ hands so they can continue working on tasks while reading the information.
Technicians can use augmented reality to order spare parts and even get help from remote experts by sharing the 3D visualization with them. This is a great way to help improve first-time fix rates.
While using VR training for firefighters is a fairly new concept, it’s already being utilized. The technique can feature a set of VR goggles that let users experience simulated emergencies with a 360-degree view. VR systems can be attached to a computer so vital metrics such as reaction time can be measured.
Construction sites are looking to virtual reality to decrease the number of preventable accidents and bring a new dimension to construction safety training. It has the potential to cover the architectural, construction, and engineering fields and train entire operations in rigorous, real-life, heavy equipment exercises using high-fidelity virtual models of both existing and possible work sites.
The beauty of 3D simulation and virtual reality in construction or architectural projects is the safety of the training process. Using these models introduces an array of benefits that you never knew possible when it comes to worker safety training. Complex situations and processes can be recreated through VR allowing employees to practice situations in a simulated environment. For example, employees can practice welding without the risk of burn injuries.
This is where a 3D modelling and virtual reality display can come to life and bring the training process into a risk-free, controlled, and safe environment in a realistic, innovative, and productive way. The technical and educational services on offer allow users to get the full experience of real-life projects.
Using 3D and virtual reality environments as part of your training methodology allows the workforce to experience an entirely new side of training. This type of technology breathes life back into traditional computer based learning and re-awakens the enthusiasm in users who are used to this technology in other circles outside of training.
By modelling your equipment, possibly down to the last detail you could distribute a training programme to all your employees that will allow them to interact with it, follow best practice procedures or carry out fault finding scenarios, all without having to access and possibly damage the real item.
Customer service training, as an example, requires teaching employees how to impact, retain and understand customer satisfaction as well as the use of greetings, body language, appropriate tone of voice and even the best way to deal with customer complaints.
Virtual reality applications can enable employees to get as much mobility and flexibility as they desire; by virtually accessing the work space. Thereby virtual reality technology gives employees the autonomy in terms of when, where and how they work.
Virtual reality can be used to help potential candidates make more informed decisions? In that context, virtual reality technology can be used for showing a day in the life of an employee at the employer’s organization and experiencing a tour of the company offices. Facilitating this can in the end increase retention rates and decrease employee turnover.
VR experiences are easily repeatable, allowing subjects to be exposed to varying levels of intensity in the experience. The subject can therefore gradually become accustomed to the stronger stimuli. Any stressful situation can be turned into a safe VR experience, such as dealing with an angry customer and putting out a fire.
In addition, the jump from reading a manual and watching others do a task, to actually getting to perform that task well, is bigger and more error prone than the one between a VR experience of practicing that task and doing it for real. VR is now in the phase when enterprises begin to make serious investments and pilot their first mainstream implementations.
All that is to say, if you’re thinking about getting VR into your training program, you’re in good company, and your business case should be relatively easy to assemble. Now, let’s dive into some of the specific benefits of using VR training.
The best learning results are achieved when you are involved, and when you get a chance to try something, fail and then do it right. Nothing beats personal experience, and virtual reality supports that. Introducing gamification and competition is what can make them eager to learn. Offering an element of competition and gaming makes training more attractive. VR enables the trainer to‘gamify’ even the simplest lessons, like ‘open the tab’ or ‘close the door’ to a more complex multiplayer experience.
2. Improved data processing
In a typical training scenario, we could only use our sight to analyse and interpret data. But what if we could use other senses too? This is exactly what Virtual Reality offers in data visualization. With data-audio relationships, we could easily determine the location, subject, and significance of a specific data through its direction, volume and type. With feedback gloves gaining popularity, we are not far away from a period where we could actually feel the data.
Data visualization techniques that have been developed over the years have enabled us to improve data processing rate, but it is still information from two-dimensional screens. Enter virtual reality and this is in for a total changeover. By completely immersing you in a stimulating 3D environment, virtual reality engages your brain and help you make full use of your bandwidth.
3. Reducing Training Budget and Providing Scalability
VR is tied to results. It’s possible to collect metrics from virtual education, showing the improvement in outcomes. Anything learned — whether facts or skills — can be tested, and an organization can easily compare current methods to a virtual learning course. VR modules also provide feedback during the training period, so instructors can iterate.
Savings also take the form of equipment longevity. Heavy equipment doesn’t have to be brought to a special training location, or suffer wear and tear as numerous trainees learn how to operate it. Logistics reduction. Firefighters don’t have to set buildings on fire to do the repetitious part of training. Instead, after virtual training, they can save the test fire environment for a “final exam” type of situation.
4. Encourage Exploration and Trial & Error
Like making mistakes, learning by trial & error is one of the best ways to retain new skills. Techniques and tricks that we learn by tinkering and then adapt to fit our particular work style are invaluable. Virtual reality training gives instructors and trainees the flexibility to discover the best ways to make decisions, troubleshoot and solve problems, or simply do their jobs a little bit better. Remember: little improvements in productivity can pay big dividends over time.
VR is already making headway in a range of industries. For example, Machine Operations. Heavy equipment manufacturing are offering virtual reality simulations to train employees on highly-specialized equipment. In addition to enhanced learning, VR training offers savings on machine depreciation and wear and tear.
5. Removing Time and Travel from the Equation
Learning with virtual reality is an exciting option, and more districts are making it a reality. Currently, VR field trip opportunities are a main focus for workers. Using headsets, workers can explore any potential location/scenario–the options are limitless.
Subject-intensive modules are also gaining in interest. Commanders are are discovering “time-travel” opportunities as more and more content is produced, like air-to-air wingmen, battlefield trench, complete with artifacts that would have existed there at the time.
Although their full implications are yet to be explored, VR technologies make training more engaging and productive. They are here to stay, and who knows what benefits they will bring to future trainees. As the technology evolves, so too will the applications in VR. That’s why it's essential for trainingpros to keep up with cutting-edge tech and come up with new and innovative uses for VR tools.
6. Create Scenarios That Otherwise Are Impossible To Create
Augmented and Visual Reality technologies have added another dimension to the training field, taking workers to They another world and allow them to gain experience without any risk. This technology also enables organizations to incorporate environments that would be too costly to recreate in the real world. Besides saving costs, training in a virtual environment also increases the levels of safety. This method ensures the trainee is clear about what they are being taught and can apply it in the real world.
7. Appropriately Pace Learning
The flexibility and affordability of a simulated virtual reality work environment gives trainees the ability to work through learning objectives at their own pace. Trainees can try and try again until they feel completely confident with each new skill or show off their depth of knowledge with scenario randomizations that ensure no two training experiences are the same. VR training provides a much more flexible way to train.
8. Focus On A Practical Approach
For the most part, our existing training system focuses more on books/manuals than practical approach. That is the reason why people tend to forget rotely learned concepts so easily. On the contrary, Augmented and Visual Reality make learning a practical experience. And experiences are what stick with trainees and enable them to recall the information for later use. Some concepts that in theory appear to be dry, fail to catch trainees attention for extended periods of time.
However, AR and VR can make them more interesting by adding practical application and immersion,helping trainees to appreciate the importance of concepts and ideas instead of merely brushing them off as book knowledge that has no correlation with their work duties or responsibilities.
9. Encourage Trainees To Learn From Their Mistakes
Trainees tend to experience some degree of confusion when they encounter new challenges or unfamiliar situations. This usually happens when they contradict what the book teaches. In that case, incorporation of alternate reality technologies gives you the power to remove any doubts the trainee might be experiencing. With these technologies, you put your trainees in a situation where they can try out their own ideas and reach their own conclusions. This also ensures that the lesson learned sticks with them and creates an emotional connection.
10. Allow For Self-Guided Exploration
Augmented and Visual Reality technologies give you the ability to create a safe environment for trainees to experiment and try things which would otherwise be impossible. Take troops for example. Imagine the pressure they must face when coming across an armed adversary for the first time. A wrong decision at this point can make the situation worse and that may even shatter the confidence of the unit. However, by replicating the same situation with the help of Virtual Reality, troops can be prepared for such dangerous situations beforehand without having to worry about any repercussions.