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OFP/VBS coverage on marine.mil

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Marines practice with OFP/VBS before going to Iraq

Quote[/b] ]MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (March 10, 2004) -- Marines are facing rocket propelled grenade attacks, improvised explosive devices, suicide bombers and many other threats found in Iraq, all from the comfort of a computer screen in an air-conditioned cubicle. A modified version of the interactive computer game Operation Flashpoint, with the assistance of some Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, is training Marines preparing to deploy to Iraq.

“This training allows units to run through an endless amount of scenarios to prepare them for the unexpected,†said Cpl. Gary W. Hogue, a 21-year-old from Saint Louis, Mo. The 2nd Marine Division field wireman was with Task Force Tarawa when the first Marine ground forces hit Iraq in 2003. He uses his firsthand knowledge of war to plan and execute combat missions on the Virtual Battlefield System.

“The unit leaders tell us what they want their Marines to experience and we plan out combat scenarios for them on the computer system,†he said.

Hogue works with Marines and a team of computer technicians to develop and execute the combat missions. The hazel-eyed Marine and his comrades man computers where they control the movements of insurgents. This means the unit undergoing the training has to think on their feet. It isn’t just a computer program they’re up against, it’s a real person.

“There was a unit which came through here doing convoy training. We (technicians) set the insurgents up with sniper rifles and took out one of the drivers in the vehicles on their computer screens,†Hogue said. The 5-feet-9-inch Marine added, “They went into a frenzy, not knowing what to do. We could have picked the whole convoy off, one by one. These are the mistakes we want units to make here so they don’t make them in Iraq.â€

One unit using the software recently was the 4th Amphibious Assault Battalion, a reserve unit headed to Iraq later this month. The Marines normally train and operate with Amphibious Assault Vehicles in teams, which the computer program replicated. The Marines in each vehicle team were kept together in their own cubicle with a walkie-talkie to imitate the radio they would use to communicate with their platoon commander.

“It’s OK to make mistakes here. We can find out what problems we’re going to have before we ever hit the ground in Iraq,†said Staff Sgt. Brad R. Reichard, the maintenance chief for the unit. The Boone, N.C., native added, “The best part about this program is when a mistake is made here, no one dies.â€

The unit found this out for themselves when their convoy was attacked by vehicle-born IEDs, suicide bombers and mortars. They were forced to think on their feet when lead vehicles were hit or when a convoy commander was killed.

Full article + pics

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Acording to 1985 campaign mission Guardian the best thing to do is to step on the wheel and zig zag like crazy tounge_o.gif .

Nice read, good to hear they are puting OPF to good use, its good for the marines to have some fun before going into real combat situations smile_o.gif .

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Acording to 1985 campaign mission Guardian the best thing to do is to step on the wheel and zig zag like crazy tounge_o.gif .

Yeah, except for the fact that in Iraq they have a phenomena called ''Civilians'' there, most of whom are already not too keen on any US soldier, not to mention a bunch of them running you over with their Humvee wink_o.gif

The real use for military sims is to practice communication, no simulator can ever replace 3 days in the mud without sleeping, constantly having to keep alert while performing your tasks.

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... its good for the marines to have some fun before going into real combat situations smile_o.gif .

This is what i meant wink_o.gif .

And they can place civilians in the editor too but my great mouse driving skill would still save the day tounge_o.gif .

If not... press get out and zig zag on foot using the fast sprint key tounge_o.gif .

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Neato. It says something about the fidelity of the OFP experience when we already have several Army approved and funded computer games out there and the Marines are playing Flashpoint. While I'd love to see some of these missions made public (yeah right) I would be more interested in seeing what community content they are using....

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hmm. would they be willing to release their Iraqi mission setups?

I haven't seen a singly Iraq mission scenario so far ...

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Acording to 1985 campaign mission Guardian the best thing to do is to step on the wheel and zig zag like crazy tounge_o.gif .

Yeah, except for the fact that in Iraq they have a phenomena called ''Civilians'' there, most of whom are already not too keen on any US soldier, not to mention a bunch of them running you over with their Humvee wink_o.gif

The real use for military sims is to practice communication, no simulator can ever replace 3 days in the mud without sleeping, constantly having to keep alert while performing your tasks.

I have to disagree with you on that one. The training value of a product like VBS goes way beyond just communicating with each other.

Sure it wont make you a better driver or a better marksman and will never replace actual field training. But, as a compliment to training in the field it's value is immeasurable. It can teach you to depend on your buddy to watch your back, To allow for practicing fire and maneuver and to also teach that just because someone has a rifle on their back doesnt make them an enemy. This is just a sampling of the feedback received so far.

Quote[/b] ]hmm. would they be willing to release their Iraqi mission setups?

I haven't seen a singly Iraq mission scenario so far ...

Stay tuned. . . .

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The real use for military sims is to practice communication, no simulator can ever replace 3 days in the mud without sleeping, constantly having to keep alert while performing your tasks.

Easy... just keep the marines from having 3 days of sleep then put them on the simulator.. tounge_o.gif

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...with waterproof laptops, in the mud tounge_o.gif

I dont think those setups are that great. Basically, theyve jus got a desert town (possibly tonal for all we know), all the enemies are human controlled, and so are the men

its basically a big MP teamdeathmatch

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Yeah, but look at it this way.  Human players are more inherently creative and if your fighting force on force with other Marines (or ex-mil civvies playing) you can start to feel the sweat of realizing that somebody (game-wise) is out to blast you, and you respond in kind.  Sure the AI is effective, but it's a bot, programmed responses, and can't figure out a good position to ambush a patrol in the city, or how to act like some farmer paid to shoot at Americans, or what have you.  And as far as using the Tonal map, haven't seen it, but it could be representative of what it's like over there.  Where I was at wasn't totally unlike some of the maps I've seen in VBS1.

And while it will never approach the feeling of real bullets whizzing by (or RPGs for that matter too, and Winters nails it on the head for that matter), firing your weapon, hoping you make it back, not get blown up by an IED, get hit by a mortar round, etc.  It's about as close as you can get to the real thing.  We didn't get that sort of training so I really wouldn't knock it too much.

@Lt HuNTeR: Some Iraqi citizens are happy the US is there, and obviously don't like us.  But try going to a girls school on a humanitarian mission and look into their eyes, then think of what you have to deal with everyday on patrol.  That'll make you think.

And by reading the scenario in that snippet. I would say it's fairly unrealistic, least the point of snipers killing drivers. One time they set up a (supposedly, but I think that was RUMINT more than anything else) .50 in the treeline and tried to hit the convoy I was helping to escort out of sector. Then there were guys on the rooftop (which the gunner on my vehicle got), so the movie style ambushes are present, as well as more complex ones. The good thing is that these guys are going with the knowledge that the insurgents can get lucky too seeing as the CO died, as of course it can happen.

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IntelTraining2lowres.jpg

Quote[/b] ]MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – An up close view of the convoy simulation seen by Marines training at the II Marine Expeditionary Force, Simulation Center. Marines from 2nd Intelligence conducted simulated missions as part of workups toward field training exercises and deployment to Iraq later this year (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ruben D. Maestre)

Photo submitted 05/26/2005 Taken by Ruben D. Maestre

USMC.mil

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The real use for military sims is to practice communication, no simulator can ever replace 3 days in the mud without sleeping, constantly having to keep alert while performing your tasks.

Give them a huge pack of batterys and a laptop. And make them roll in the mud and let them play VBS1 for 3 days straight wink_o.giftounge_o.gif

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Wait..what is that? Do i see a crosshair in that pic? tounge_o.gif

Well they are not really using VBS1 to learn marksmanship. It's probably in many ways hassle enough to use a keyboard and mouse, making it even more difficult to operate the sim could just be a pain in the ass providing no training. smile_o.gif

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Wait..what is that? Do i see a crosshair in that pic? tounge_o.gif

Well they are not really using VBS1 to learn marksmanship.  It's probably in many ways hassle enough to use a keyboard and mouse, making it even more difficult to operate the sim could just be a pain in the ass providing no training.   smile_o.gif

OMG 3rd person too? n00bs tounge_o.gif .

p.s. im obviously just joking...the article is interesting smile_o.gif .

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Took me a while to find the pics as they're in the photo gallery, not in the new stories. Links provided below for HI-RES...

Story Id #: 2005526145459

Quote[/b] ]

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (May 15, 2005) -- The youth and inexperience in the eyes and faces of many of the Marines who have been in the Corps barely a year is still apparent to the casual observer. Their facial expressions belie their curiosity about additional training they will receive from their first unit in the Fleet Marine Force. The veterans who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan and the “lifers†- the older Marines who plan on serving for at least 20 years and remember the peacetime deployments to exotic locales - already understand the process for training for war. The training seems more routine for them, as if it has become a daily part of their personal lives.

Less than two months after completing an Iraq combat tour, 2nd Intelligence Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, prepared for deployment to that part of the world. For many of the Marines, it will be their first deployment. For others, it will be their second, or more, mission to Iraq.

“We did 70 plus combat patrols in Iraq,†said Pfc. Coleman Ruster, a native of Oklahoma City, and a Purple Heart recipient assigned to Ground Sensory Platoon, 2nd Intel. “Hopefully, we can get them [Marines who have not deployed to Iraq] up to the point where we were at from what we learned from our missions.â€

The training in preparation for deployment to the Middle East was not unique to 2nd Intel. Hundreds of units within the Marine Corps and U.S. military have completed deployment workups prior to leaving for Iraq. At the same time last year, 2nd Intel was in the field learning about convoy operations and practicing with the use of small arms.

“I think the training will be more effective this time,†said Staff Sgt. Kevin Phillips, of Keene, N.H., a targeting chief assigned to the unit. “We have better training based upon what we did last year and during the first deployment. Convoy training and weapons employment are two big things we are focusing on.â€

For the upcoming mission to Iraq, the unit began training with an emphasis on technology and the rule of law. This portion of pre-deployment training consisted of classes reviewing laws of war and the use of computers for virtual combat simulations.

The lectures covering laws of war and rules of engagement are mandatory for all commands deploying to combat zones so each individual is made aware of the necessity of adhering to those regulations. .

“All commanders have a duty to let their subordinates know what the rules of war are,†said Col. Patrick McDonough, instructor with the base Judge Advocate division. “This class is given to the rules set forth by the Geneva Convention.â€

At II MEF simulation center, 2nd Intel Marines huddled over desktop computers during a computer simulation program on convoy operations.

The simulation offers Marines a first-and third-person perspective of the convoy training. The trainees on every other computer use hand-held radios to communicate with each other on the convoy, while programmers at the simulation center pose as virtual insurgents, attacking the convoy with explosives and sniper fire.

Some Marines do not understand the training value of a simulator that does not surround the trainee with the dust, sweat and grime that accompanies a convoy in the field. In reality, the simulated convoy operations give Marines who have never ridden an actual convoy an excellent introduction to this mission by giving an overall perspective to how a mission is planned, coordinated and carried out.

“We have to relay messages, maintain a convoy and deal with threats posed by insurgents,†said Cpl. Jose Trevino, of Pharr, Texas, assigned to Ground Sensor Platoon, 2nd Intel, gearing up for his second deployment. “This is a good way to understand how a convoy works.â€

Training 01

Quote[/b] ]

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – An up close view of the convoy simulation seen by Marines training at the II Marine Expeditionary Force, Simulation Center. Marines from 2nd Intelligence conducted simulated missions as part of workups toward field training exercises and deployment to Iraq later this year (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ruben D. Maestre)

IntelTraining2lowres.jpg

HIRES

Training 2

Quote[/b] ]

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Cpl. Jose A. Trevino, a ground sensor monitor with Ground Sensory Platoon, 2nd Intelligence Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, gives a brief over a simulated convoy mission they are about to undertake to his Marines at the II MEF simulation center recently. Trevino, of Pharr, Texas, and the Marines from 2nd Intelligence conducted simulated missions as part of workups toward field training exercises and deployment to Iraq later this year. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ruben D. Maestre)

IntelTraining1lowres.jpg

HIRES

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I want to have a map like that! But I don't think my printer could do this sad_o.gif

maybe BIA can ship one with the next VBS1 releases wink_o.gif

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Quote[/b] ]hmm. would they be willing to release their Iraqi mission setups?

I haven't seen a singly Iraq mission scenario so far ...

Stay tuned. . . .

<span id='ME'><center>Mr Burns just started drooling all over the place wow_o.gif</center></span>

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Then the marine's obviously didn't do their training very well wink_o.gif

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Why playing against AI, they could recruit some realy experienced players from flashpoint1985.com and let them play the "insurgents" !  biggrin_o.gif

It's because it's A) the Marines, and B) the AI is tough enough in most situations and mimics closely enough the insurgents, though in all honesty I think the AI is alot smarter in some aspects compared to the real insurgents.

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[noob]

Can OFP maps be used in VBS? Or converted like some addons? Because I dont know how the middle eastern maps for VBS look like? But I think OFP has got some nice maps to train those soldiers...

[/noob]

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I think they work fine, but if they use objects from OFP, and VBS1 doesn't have the same object, or texture, you get missing objects and missing ground textures..

May be wrong though, but they are convertable (You could copy the res data/data3d PBO's I guess)

- Ben

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