Navy Airmen Use Online Game Concept to Enhance Training> U.S. Marine Corps Flagship> News View
Before the dawn of online gaming, video games and computer games mainly featured two to four players sitting in the same room looking at the same screen while using a gamepad or keyboard to play a game where they were arguing. or fought against each other. Games such as Mario Kart, Goldeneye, and Super Smash Brothers provided hours of fun and camaraderie for players as they competed against and against their friends and family. When online gambling gained prominence in the early 2000s, it allowed gamers to play with friends, and mostly strangers, from all over the world. Today, the multi-billion dollar industry connects over 2 billion players across a wide range of different types of games such as strategy, first-person shooter, and role-playing games. US Marine Corps pilots stationed in Cherry Point, North Carolina took some of the online game concept and used it to enhance their training.
“COPE JAVELIN”, which took place last month, was a simulation that followed a fictitious operational scenario that could easily unfold in the real world. Marine aviators from various units across the 2nd Marine Plane Wing attached to flight simulators for different aircraft that were located at different bases across eastern North Carolina. They were able to connect between different simulation systems and work together to defend against a fictitious enemy force. They communicated with each other and integrated forces in order to accomplish a mission without ever entering the cockpit of a real airplane. This integration of multiple simulation systems gives Marine Pilots and Marine Air Control Group 28 Marines the ability to accomplish challenging and realistic training without leaving their respective bases and saves a huge amount of money in fuel, ammunition, maintenance. and various other costs associated with conducting this training in real time.
“COPE JAVELIN will ideally lay the groundwork for MAW to use both simulated and virtual training methods to increase combat readiness.” Capt. Tony Megliorino, COPE JAVELIN the Senior Planner
The mastermind of this innovative and unique formation is Lt. Col. Eric Grunke, Director of Aviation Training Systems for 2nd MAW. He saw the need to integrate all Maritime Air-Ground Task Force resources into a virtual training environment in order to enhance air combat training.
“Linking [systems] isn’t new, but we’re taking it to a new level by incorporating [command and control Marines] training on their own equipment, and we use a common scenario developed by the training support center – normally a ground-based agency. “
Prior to this integration, the MACG-28 Command and Control Marines that would be located in the Direct Air Support Center and the Tactical Air Operations Center would run separate simulations with pilots and simulated aircraft. Conversely, when a pilot undergoes simulator training, it is normally directed to a single pilot who would act as both DASC and TAOC. While this training is effective, COPE JAVELIN provides additional opportunities to have key roles within command and control structures led by Marines who have the skills to act in these specific tickets. Normally two to three integrated systems allow pilots training in the simulator to perform realistic communications, albeit with a makeshift TAOC or DASC outside the simulator. Now they can integrate more than ten simulators that bring together integral parts of the MAW, further enabling the MAW to be more efficient in providing the six functions of maritime aviation.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
Captain Tony Megliorino, COPE JAVELIN’s main planner for MACG-28, described his thoughts when he first heard the idea behind COPE JAVELIN. “The idea of being able to connect our simulator and simulation systems through the MAW for mutually beneficial training and readiness gains would be a tremendous capability.
“Both DASC and TAOC have independent in-house training methods to accomplish their various training and readiness requirements. However, collectively, the [Marine Air Command and Control System] train together every quarter [MACCS Integrated Simulated Training Exercises] that exercise the ability of MACCS agencies to operate in a variety of tactical scenarios. “
The first tests of this ability did not come without its challenges. There were communication and connectivity issues, which were expected with so many systems integrating for the first time. While problems are to be expected, the potential this ability brings is still very apparent. Captain Megliorino describes the potential: “COPE JAVELIN will ideally lay the groundwork for MAW to use both simulated and virtual training methods to increase combat readiness.”
Marines and pilots at Twentynine Palms or El Centro, Calif., Can perform a large-scale virtual exercise that mimics a service level training exercise without leaving the dock. Lt. Col. Grunke says: “The goal is not to replace actual flight events for units, but to improve their performance by demonstrating the ability [all six aviation functions] in a virtual environment first. In addition, the goal is [to] finally train [overseas] areas, where the wing may be employed, not just in training areas in the United States. “
In June, 2nd MAW will be running a more robust iteration of COPE JAVELIN which should address some of the shortcomings identified during this latest “walk phase” iteration of the exercise.