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‘Vanguards’ operate on virtual battlefield

POSTED: April 9, 2012 10:14 a.m.
Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger /

Specialist Sloan Marsh, 2nd Lt. Zackery Sutton and Capt. Eugene Miranda, 3/7 Inf. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd ID, conduct a simulated fire control mission using the Virtual Battle Space 2 training platform, March 29, at Evans Army Airfield.

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Fort Stewart, GA


Fire support specialists, company commanders and fire support officers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, conducted fire control missions on the virtual battlefield, March 26-30, at Evans Army Airfield on Fort Stewart, Ga.

Using the Virtual Battle Space 2 training platform—delivered through laptop computers and headsets and presented as an advanced video game—Soldiers and leaders conducted simulated multi-echelon training in a 3D environment built to mirror Fort Stewart’s terrain, said Joe Beasley, the VBS2 senior network administrator.

Sergeant First Class Gary Wright, the fire support sergeant for 4IBCT, said the week-long training event prepared “Vanguards” for a live fire control exercise slated for April. “I think it’s a good learning experience just due to the fact I’d rather have people make mistakes in a simulation … rather [than] in a live fire [environment],” the Cocoa, Fla., native said. “It’s just a check on learning on echelons of fires.”

Private First Class Trevor Cummins, an information technology specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4IBCT, said he participated in the training by serving as a member of a platoon element, a company commander on another laptop was maneuvering in a fire control mission.

The Chicago native said the training taught him a lot about troop movement, operational planning and teamwork.

“I feel this is a very effective [training] platform for Soldiers,” Cummins said. “For [the video game] Call of Duty you can point and fire and kill the enemy, [but] here you have to apply actual fundamentals of firing a weapon—holding your breath for that brief second, trigger squeeze, [and] trajectory of the round—that all plays a factor.”

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