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Lt. Col. James Braken, team leader for Border Transition Team 4200, Advisor Training Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, goes over his teams performance during a training exercise at the Tactical Vehicle Simulation Center, Dec. 10.

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Border Transition Team utilizes Combat Convoy Simulator to train for deployment

10 Dec 2008 | Lance Cpl. Robert C. Medina

Training never stops throughout Marines’ careers, especially if they are about to deploy to a foreign land.  

Border Transition Team 4200, Advisor Training Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted training at the Tactical Vehicle Simulation Center, Dec. 10.

Training with the Combat Convoy Simulator gives service members the experience of being on a convoy without ever leaving the building. Large projection screens surround the four Humvees and two 7-ton trucks, providing a 360-degree view of a digital battlefield. Vibration and movement can be felt as the screens give the effect of motion.

The weapons used, the wireless Blue Fire Weapons System, are as high-tech as the simulators. This smart weapon simulator looks and performs exactly like the real weapon. This system also utilizes wireless communication to provide the same accurate, real-time training diagnostics as system-controlled weapons simulators.

“This simulator will help us focus on our immediate action drills, communication between our unit and higher and combat reporting in general (such as nine-lines),” said Lt. Col. James Braken, team leader, BTT 4200.

With this simulator, units can customize their own training to fit their specific needs.

It’s up to the commander to decide what he wants for his unit, said Cpl. Jeffrey M. Chisholm, instructor, Headquarters and Service Company, Marine Corps Base. “They can decide what map or location they want, routes, what kind of ambushes to surprise their Marines with, sniper fire, improvised explosive devices, indirect fire and air support. They can do anything that you could do in a real-life situation.” 

Chisholm said this system does not only teach convoy operations, it teaches moral and ethical decision making skills as well.

“This helps the mind work as fast as the action is taking place,” said Braken. “It keeps them on their toes.”

 As BTT 4200 deploys, it will have the responsibility of training its Iraqi counterparts in staff-level combat operations such as proper planning, command decision making and much more.


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