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Combat Convoy Training

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Adaptive Immersive Convoy Operations Training Systems

FAAC’s latest generation of custom Combat Convoy Simulator (CCS) unleashes the full potential of immersive simulation-based training for convoy operations and dismounted small-unit tactics (SUT). CCS supports more advanced simulations and scenarios, including: command and control procedures, communications systems, and crew responses to improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, ambush attacks, evolving enemy tactics, and countermeasures. FAAC has extensive experience modeling IEDs and Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) systems and capabilities, and their interaction with vehicles and communications systems. Current CCS simulate both Chameleon and Hunter jammers, and accurately models the jamming effectiveness based on terrain and conditions.

In 2019 FAAC began upgrading USMC Combat Convoy Simulators throughout the U.S. Many of these systems had been in operation for 12+ years. While these were advanced systems when they were originally fielded, they had aged, and their simulation capabilities were lacking:

  • Steering wheels and pedals had no force-feedback systems—they were more akin to arcade game controls than a real vehicle
  • All software/hardware was “closed”—proprietary components and platforms made for extremely cumbersome maintenance, upgrade, and scenario authoring
  • Dismounted soldier tracking and simulation was rudimentary, hampering SUT and combat training
  • In-simulation vehicle dynamics and physics were totally absent

FAAC audited the system and discovered that many components (including cabs, gunner turrets, small arms, etc.) could be upgraded and modified for reuse. We replaced computer hardware, projectors/displays, actuators, software, and networking equipment with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and open alternatives when available, leveraging existing USMC systems and software investments. (This approach regularly reduces development time by 6 to 9 months and saves millions of dollars in procurement costs, while also significantly reducing risk.)

Crew and Collective Training

FAAC’s immersive simulator-based crew and collective training solutions provide real-world experiences, honing soldiers’ skills and judgment before they go anywhere near the field of operations. Our mission is to ensure that army personnel, whether a driver or an engineer, have the skills they need to minimize risks. Simulation training programs ensure that the trainee can operate collectively as a crew under any circumstance – whether in combat conditions or simply on patrol.

FAAC’s custom hardware/software simulation solutions allow you to easily create complex real-time scenarios, and for your trainees to experience them in an emotionally vivid way at a low cost and with no risk of injury. We’ve built simulators for a wide range of platforms using real/replica equipment with scenarios to practice everything from basic vehicle and system operation to complex, multi-stage, multiparty training exercises. This collective simulation training for crews provides a high-fidelity training environment for individuals and crews to train in a way that will translate into operational excellence in the field. Move beyond simple traditional training and provide your personnel with an advanced scenario-based training system.

Convoy Immersive Training Environment Features

The resulting CCS supported more Student Training Stations (STSs)—up to 20 per Instructor/Operator Station (IOS). These STSs can then be dynamically reconfigured in any IOS-to-STS ratio. Each STS in the upgraded CCS benefited from force-feedback steering, terrain-specific vehicle movements, and sophisticated ultra-wideband (UWB) tracking of dismounted soldiers using FAACs proven electronic weapon interface package (EWIP). EWIP is a tether-free solution that fits existing training weapons, and adds fire and reload event detection, high fidelity hit detection, tactile simulation, “out of ammo” simulation, and simulated MK-31 MOD 0 pen flare operation. More importantly the EWIP gives trainees in other student stations an accurate in-simulation rendering of their dismounted comrades’ movements and status, allowing for realistically coordinated SUT training across the entire convoy.

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Interactive High Definition Virtual Scene

The simulation itself is built on an open architecture, with headroom for future software growth and development. It supports more sophisticated “bot” behaviors for all lifeforms (BLUFOR, FRIENDLY, OPFOR, CIVILIAN, and NEUTRAL), in a large high-fidelity geo-specific world. All components of the virtual scene—including up to 900 moving models, articulated parts, projectiles, objects, special effects, and animations—are rendered at “flicker-free” high definition for at least 99% of the total exercise time.


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True Physics-based Vehicle Dynamics and Weapons

FAAC CCS simulations have true physics-based vehicle dynamics and weapon flyouts (with accurate ballistics by caliber). All entities and objects (trainee vehicles, “bot” vehicles and lifeforms, buildings, structures, obstacles, IEDs, visual clutter) can be preprogrammed into the scenario. But they don’t have to be: objects and entities can also be placed, moved, deleted, and modified (i.e., change “status” from Healthy to Wounded or Mobility Killed, etc.) during runtime. Environmental conditions—such as weather and visibility—can likewise be programmed in advance or dynamically changed while the simulation is running. At any point during a simulation, any trainee unit can be resurrected and moved to any point on the map.

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Instructor Operator System (IOS)

The integrated Instructor Operator System (IOS) offers many tools to enhance After Action Review (AAR). For example, the AAR system allows instructors to insert “flags” during an exercise (in addition to dropping automated flags for events such as weapons fire, IED explosion, and so on). This allows for quick navigation back to those points in the simulation during AAR—or even re-running those portions of the scenario for the trainees to try different tactics.

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FAAC embraces a “Customer for Life” philosophy. We invest time in understanding your assets and objectives, work closely with your team to develop and deliver the appropriate simulation solution, and help you find the best way to integrate this custom solution into your training procedures. Most importantly, we support you in maintaining and evolving this solution as your policies, assets, and challenges inevitably change over time.

We don’t sell equipment; we partner with agencies and their instructors to develop their ideal simulation training solution. Our mission is to ensure that operators have the real-life skills they needed to perform at the highest level in the field. This means conducting drills that ensure personnel are trained in operating in every possible field condition – something that is accomplished best through the use of high-fidelity simulation training.

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Combat Convoy Simulator Solutions

We invest time in understanding both your existing simulator and your evolving training demands. We then work closely with your team to develop and deliver the appropriate training solution, adapting what you have and supplying what you need. FAAC CCS solutions are open solutions, relying whenever possible on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components. We help you integrate this custom solution into your training procedures, and support you in maintaining and evolving this solution over time. We don’t just sell equipment; we partner with agencies and their instructors to develop their ideal training solution.

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Related Simulator: Combat Convoy Simulator (CCS)

FAAC provides state-of-the-art simulators to train service members in basic and advanced convoy skills using different terrains and roads in a variety of weather, visibility, and vehicle operational conditions. The weapons used in the CCS training include handheld rifles M16/M4 and crew served weapons M2, M240B, and MK19.

Combat Convoy Simulator (CCS)