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Virtual, also known as synthetic training, provides flexibility. US Marines will soon be able to participate in joint simulated training exercises thanks to new technology. This could prepare them better for the more expansive, multi-domain battlefield.
The Live Virtual Constructive Training Environment (LVC-TE) will be operational at five bases across the Corps within two years, enabling networked virtual training with other services, and providing the effect of large-scale joint training exercises, officials say.
Project Tripoli is expected to give more Marines access to a realistic, simulated training environment that allows them to interact with battle buddies and other units like they would in combat. The project will link together the live training with simulation and augmented reality (AR). It will network five existing virtual training tools so Marines can communicate and move in the simulation in relation to other troops.
Planners say the result will be more quality training available live, even with limited resources and complex logistics. It’s cheaper, too: While a standard predeployment exercise workup costs $8 million, officials believe they can lower the cost to $5.2 million, according to defensenews.com.
All three headquarters of the Marine expeditionary force will feature an LVCTE setup by 2025, as will Marine Corps Base Hawaii — a key location because of its collocation with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Pacific Warfighting Center.
There are still a few challenges. There’s the technical “fair fight” problem present in live simulations, in which an environment can’t update quickly enough, leaving two warfighters to encounter different scenarios and unequal challenges. It’s also unclear how virtual training involving, for example, air and ground combat elements will coordinate with legacy Marine Corps training and readiness standards that don’t have a category for such an exercise.