Virtual Reality Troops hone warfighting skills in simulator

September 06, 2013
Virtual Reality Troops hone warfighting skills in simulator
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to the 443rd Transportation Company operate a Dismounted Soldier Training System during the Combat Support Training Exercise 86-13-01 at Fort McCoy Wis., Aug. 8. The 443rd Trans. Co., under the 451st Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), was tasked with conducting heavy equipment transportation, convoy operations, and virtual battle simulations as part of CSTX 86, a training exercise designed to test participating units’ proficiencies in simulated overseas environments.​
 
Story and photo by Spc. Hector Corea
366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
 
FORT MCCOY, Wis.- The 443rd Transportation Company, under the 451st Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), participated in the Combat Support Training Exercise 86-13-01 at Fort McCoy, Wis., in August. The CSTX is designed to train and prepare Army Reserve units for future deployments.
 
“Our mission is to relocate heavy equipment for the CSTX, and also react to [operation orders] as needed by higher [headquarters],” said Capt. Adrian Ortiz, commander of the 443rd Trans. Co. “We have soldiers that are training in all aspects of warrior tasks and drills.”
 
Soldiers of the 443rd Trans. Co. performed a variety of missions, including convoy operations, heavy equipment transportation, and virtual battle simulations.
 
“The convoy operation was an awesome experience,” said Spc. Haley Cumpton, a motor transport operator with the 443rd Trans. Co. “It helps you get familiarized with situations to know what to do and how to react.”
In addition to simulated battlefield situations, Soldiers of the 443rd Trans. Co. transported heavy equipment.
 
Soldiers of the 443rd Trans. Co. also had the opportunity to train in a virtual battle space simulator.
 
“The VBS2 system offers realistic battlefield simulations and can be used to teach doctrine, tactics, and procedures during squad patrolling,” said 1st Lt. Christina Williams, a nurse with the 452nd Combat Support Hospital.
“It's really awesome training, I love it,” Cumpton said. “It really tests your ability to communicate effectively.”
 
The variety of missions tested leadership capabilities, requiring close cooperation between noncommissioned officers and enlisted soldiers to accomplish their tasks to standard.
 
“The leadership is very engaged with their soldiers,” Ortiz said. “Our [noncommissioned officers] are able to sharpen their leadership skills and work as a team.”
 
The CSTX is designed validate the 443rd Trans. Co for deployment ready status.
 
“We’re hoping to get a positive validation,” Ortiz said. “We’d like to tell the Army the 443rd is ready to deploy.”
 
Regardless of the outcome of their evaluation, 443rd soldiers are taking advantage of the opportunity to train their skill proficiencies in an engaging environment.
 
“We’ve been practicing lots of cool things,” Cumpton said. “Everyone knows their jobs and everyone works together to get the mission done.”
 
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