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Minnesota National Guard
Simulations training gets Minnesota Guard ready for battle

Simulations CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division began vehicle simulations training Jan. 9 at Camp Ripley.

"The first phase in meeting the Army's 'Ready' requirement is to certify every vehicle crew on the safe and effective operation of their vehicle and weapon platform," said Master Sgt. Rian Hofstad, master gunner for the 1st ABCT.

The main effort of the brigade's simulations training is being conducted on the Close Combat tactical Trainer. The CCTT system is a computer-driven, manned module simulator replicating the vehicles found in close combat units such as the M1 Abrams Tank, the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. It is designed to provide armor, mechanized infantry, cavalry and reconnaissance crews with a virtual, collective training opportunity while reducing the cost and usage of actual equipment.

"As part of the collective training program, our simulators can interface together with three subsystems offering a fully combined arms mission package," said Mr. Tim Hannah, site manager on Camp Ripley.

The use of the Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer and Dismounted Soldier Training Systems allows for light vehicles and dismounted personnel to join the tanks and Bradleys on the virtual battlefield and operate within the same scenario.

"The cooperative use of our mixed platform unit with Bradley fighting vehicles and HMMWV makes us an effective reconnaissance force," said Capt. Thomas Miller, plans officer with the Duluth based 1st Squadron-94th Cavalry. "The use of the CCTT and RVTT simulators is the first step to understanding that process and applying it on the battlefield."

The capabilities of the mobile simulations trailers brought to Camp Ripley include the ability to train an entire tank and Bradley companies in addition to Humvee scouts and dismounted infantry. To facilitate that large of an organization, trailers and crews from across the United States were brought in and linked with the existing simulators in place.

"We have assets from National Guard facilities out of North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Idaho," added Hannah.

The collection of nearly 30 full-sized trailers is a major undergoing for the National Guard. Most active duty installations house multi-simulator facilities in hard structures for continued use. For the National Guard, the operations of the mobile system offers a greater availability for home station, mobilizing or deployed units in a variety of locations.

January 28, 2016
by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs



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