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Marines Expand Beachhead In 'Mecca' for Simulation.

The U.S. Marine Corps has moved all of its training-system acquisition functions from Quantico, Va., to Orlando, Fla., where the military services have based their simulation and modeling facilities, according to Col. Joseph F. Buranosky, program manager for training systems.

The mission for the training systems office--known as PMTRASYS--hasn't changed, Buranosky said. It is still responsible for all research, development, test and evaluation, acquisition, fielding, logistics support and life-cycle management of ground training systems for the entire Marine Corps.

The Marines, he said, have been a part of the Orlando simulation community since 1970. Until recently, however, they have maintained only a liaison office there.

Now, all Marine training-system acquisition activities are based in Orlando. In January, the size of the staff in PMTRASYS doubled, from 20 to 40, counting civilians and Marines, Buranosky said. Previously, many of those functions had been performed at the Marine Corps Systems Command, in Quantico.

The move "only made sense," Buranosky said. "It puts the Marine Corps on an even footing with the other services," which have major training operations in Orlando, he explained. "Overall, we will be more effective in dealing with training systems and with the Marine Corps as a whole."

Orlando "is a Mecca for simulation and modeling," Buranosky explained. The move, he said, will enable his unit "to leverage the training-system development efforts of the other services and take advantage of the synergy" created by the presence of the government, industry and academic simulation and modeling communities.

"If we're going to be entering into agreements with the other services, we decided that we'd rather be right across the street, as opposed to 800 miles away," said Daniel O. Torgler, deputy program manager, a civilian.

Torgler, speaking to an industry briefing in Orlando earlier this year, provided the following update on PMTRASYS programs for fiscal year 2002.

During the current year, he said, the Marine Corps plans to spend $9.7 million to buy, operate and maintain Combat Vehicle Appended Trainer (CVAT) systems. The CVAT system provides simulations to train individuals or full crews in their actual combat weapons platforms, such as amphibious assault vehicles, light-armored vehicles and M1A1 Abrams tanks. Current funding supports 36 systems for the tank and 42 systems for the LAV.

A total of $2.4 million is allocated to upgrade the Improved Moving Target Simulators (IMTS), used to provide training for three Marine Stinger missile reams. The current IMTS system is comprised of a tethered-launcher tube design, with a weapon orientation sensor system and its Sky Dome. The upgraded IMTS will be dome-less, transportable by individual Marine or by vehicle, and it will use commercial, off-the-shelf, nonproprietary, interoperable virtual-training technology.

Another $2.26 million is going toward research and development of a Closed-Loop Artillery Simulation System. ClASS, as it is known, is being designed to provide deployable, interactive mission training for forward observers, fire-direction centers and firing battery crews.

In the year just ended, Torgler said, the Marines spent $6 million to add simulation and command and control systems to the capabilities of the Combined Arms Staff Trainer (CAST). The overall goals of the project, he explained, were to add the following capabilities to CAST:

* Accurate depiction of air operations.

* Combat-service-support play, including constraints placed on supplies once the line of departure is crossed.

* After-action review at the trainer, as well as a playback file that can be taken home and viewed through a browser.

* Dynamic OPFOR (opposing force) play.

* C41 (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) system simulation, so that C41 displays depict the state of the operation as it is on the terrain board.

* Distributed architecture, so that CASTs can play with or against one another.

The Marines also are developing embedded training and simulation systems for the advanced amphibious assault vehicle (AAAV), the planned successor to its current generation of vehicles, some of which are now 30 years old. The AAAV will have twice the armor protection and three times the water speed of its predecessor and land mobility as good or better than the Abrams rank, Torgler said.

In July, the Corps awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $712 million contract to complete the design and development of the AAAV, build and test nine new prototypes and refurbish three early prototypes. Low-rate production is scheduled to begin in 2005. The Marines plan to buy 1,013 of the vehicles by 2015.
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Title Annotation:training system functions moved to Orlando, FL
Author:Kennedy, Harold
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Nov 1, 2001
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