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Military
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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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