The Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic has recently revealed its Marine Corps C4I training support teams have adapted a submarine 3D training tool to the specific needs of USMC units addressing Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) capabilities.
The Multi-purpose Reconfigurable Training System (MRTS) platform, first introduced to the Navy in 2008 as a virtual, touch-screen system, simulates the exact equipment submariners use aboard a boat. The platform allows sailors to train on submarine radio rooms virtually, without having to set foot in a submarine. The Navy has had widespread success with virtual training for submariners, which inspired the NIWC Atlantic afloat submarine C4I MRTS training support to collaborate on a similar virtual system as a practical application training solution for Marine Corps communicators.
The software development process took eight months, much of which time was taken up resolving computer security concerns that made it difficult to film and photograph radios, a vital step in building an accurate virtual representation of pertinent equipment.
The communication systems’ ground radio team currently provides training to all Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) on MUOS capability, specifically the Joint Integrated SATCOM Tool, Joint SATCOM Management Planning System and the AN/PRC-117G radio, using the NET package developed in-house by NIWC Atlantic. The training package includes the MUOS virtual trainer, which teaches Marines how to request satellite access, verify radio programming and load crypto via hands-on virtual application. Marines can learn and practice operating and programming MUOS equipment from their laptops. Over 600 Marines have received training in this manner to date.