418th Trans Co. goes virtual, trains using high-tech simulator

By Spc. Rebecca Smith
13th SC(E) PAO

Soldiers from the 418th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) participated in a simulated convoy exercise at the Close Combat Tactical Trainer Reconfigurable Vehicle Simulator Wednesday, April 4.

CCTT RVS are located in single 53 foot trailers and consist of cargo and armored versions of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).  There is a 360 degree projection on three screens which projects the simulation.

Each HMMWV is equipped with weapon simulators, ballistics, simulated bullet detection, voice and digital communication systems and contains night-vision capability.  The HMMWV is able to hold five crew members at a time.  The vehicle commander, driver and crew are able to dismount the vehicle to engage simulated threats.

“Simulators are harder to train in than the real thing”, said Tom Needles, training facilitator.

The CCTT RVS provided the soldiers with virtual training with real time scenarios in a combat and tactical environment.  In this training the soldiers learned about convoy intervals, overpass battle drills, rules of engagement, nine line medical evacuation drills, and who to contact when an improvised explosive device (IED) explodes. 

“I think this is good training for soldiers who are just coming in the Army and haven’t been deployed yet”, said assistant convoy commander Spc. Cyrus Thompson, heavy wheeled vehicle operator, 418th Transportation Company.

Staff Sgt. Carlos Lucas, unit movement noncommissioned officer in charge, 418th Transportation Company, said that a lot of his soldiers are new to the Army and have never had this kind of experience.  Lucas wants his soldiers to learn how to react when going under overpasses, encountering civilians, and other vehicles.  With this training he said that his soldiers should get an understanding of how a convoy operation should take place. 

“Convoys are actually ran in Iraq, so when hit by an IED, my soldiers will know what they need to do”, said Lucas

This training is good training and provides a realistic simulation that will help save lives in real combat.  This training also helps to build a team with the soldiers so when a real life situation presents itself the soldiers will already know how to react.

“I think its great training especially since I haven’t been to Iraq yet.  This training prepares me to know what to expect when in Iraq.  I enjoyed this training a lot”, said Pfc. Jacqlian Barron, heavy wheeled vehicle operator, 418th Transportation Company.

The CCTT RVS has everything to simulate a convoy operation. The CCTT RVS gives you the training you need on how to react to different situations when in combat.

“It gives [soldiers] a feel for what a convoy operation is really like during combat”, said Thompson.