Today, more than ever before, military forces need training capabilities that reflect the distributed nature of joint operations. This means enabling units, teams or multi-national task forces to connect to joint, simulated training exercises from wherever they are located in the world.
MetaVR supports this requirement by providing a shared, 3D geospecific world in which networked simulators using VRSG and correlated semi-automated forces software such as Battlespace Simulations’ MACE* can take part in joint simulated combat training missions. Trainees and simulators can communicate, coordinate and interact with each other, simulated enemy forces and location-specific culture models.
Critically, VRSG can be used in various configurations to support the functionality required for the specific training mission, be it close air support, intelligence gathering, or full mission training. From joint terminal attack controller (JTAC), forward air controller (FAC) and forward observer (FO) simulators, to fixed-wing, rotary-wing and RPAS pilots and sensor operators, simulation assets running VRSG and MACE can be networked in any configuration, ranging from portable and desktop systems to dome systems.
Exercise Spartan Warrior 20-9
VRSG recently demonstrated its ability to support U.S. Air Force Combat Air Force Distributed Mission Operations (CAF DMO) training when it was used in the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) Warfare Center’s largest ever Combined Air Operations distributed simulation exercise, Spartan Warrior 20-9†.
USAFE-AFAFRICA has some 75 MetaVR VRSG and two Terrain Tools software licenses to facilitate its simulation training exercises. The significant presence of MetaVR software and round-earth, Metadesic format terrain at other U.S. CAF DMO sites helps to further facilitate interoperability.
The goal: In line with the NATO modeling and simulation group’s charter to improve distributed training, Spartan Warrior 20-9 was a validation exercise to test the ability for trainees to connect to training exercises from their home stations instead of traveling to take part.
The location: The Warfare Center pulled participants from various national training sites including Geilenkirchen, Germany, for the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System; Netherlands’ Control Reporting Centers; MQ-9 operators from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada; and other entities including fighter assets from France.
The scenario: Simulation assets, including VRSG, were used to introduce air and ground scenarios for U.S. and NATO participants, in order to test the players’ abilities to counter threats while building cohesive protocol for real-world events.
The details: Participants were connected within the scenario, allowing trainees to execute tactics, techniques and procedures to gain better interoperability, integrate capabilities and practice operational scenarios. The Warfare Center controlled the scenario as the hub while NATO participants connected to the simulation from their home-stations and engaged in the training in real-time.
The results: “Integration and interoperability with our NATO allies and partners in the region is key to our success… Spartan Warrior is a major step forward in the continued development of a shared training environment that includes a combination of both live and virtual training within operationally relevant scenarios… Testing our integration and interoperability with allies and partners ultimately results in a more adaptive, responsive, synchronized force.” – U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham, USAFE-AFAFRICA deputy commander.
“This is the first time NATO is doing distributed training with different nations at their sites… We are not having people flying their jets in one base, but we have people flying from their sims in different sites. It’s a new capability, and the objective of this exercise is to see how valuable this kind of training is.” – Italian Air Force Col. Filippo Zampella, SW 20-9 NATO exercise director.
* Battlespace Simulations’ Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) can read MetaVR’s terrain format elevation directly, resulting in correlation between MACE’s 2D display and VRSG’s 3D display.
† Details of Spartan Warrior 20-9 from U.S. Air Force article, “Spartan Warrior 20-9: NATO strengthens air power through distributed training”, by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs.