Middle East in California?!

July 21, 2018

A US Marine ensures a PRC 117 radio works before executing a mission during Prime Time Training, at the Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) facility, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Joshua M. Jackson

 

The Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) is a prototype mixed reality training facility that allows platoon size units to conduct foot, mobile, and limited motorized patrols in a huge complex, which was formerly a tomato packing plant in Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. 

 

Range Descriptions

 

The interior of the abandoned warehouse has been turned into an embattled Middle Eastern town through the use of sets and special effects like projections, pyrotechnics, sounds, and smells. The combination of live and virtual training is what makes this a unique example of immersive training.

 

US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Austin Mellick provides security at an Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Robert G. Gavaldon

 


The complex has been in operation since November 2007, with the original IIT being known as Phase I, which consists of an indoor training facility. An outdoor complex, known as Phase II, was subsequently added to provide  greater capability and capacity.


(Phase I) Range IITA 
 

The Phase I indoor site, in addition to its training mission, also retains an experimental role to help develop immersive technologies and determine future human performance training requirements and capabilities. 
 

It consists of a 27,515 square foot mock village with 143 building facades, 33 rooms and 12 market stalls. In addition to the After Action Review (AAR) facility, the site includes eight localized smell generators, six sound zones, and eight rooms that are AVATAR capable.

 

 US Marines stand security during an integrated squad exercise with as they navigate the Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
US Marine Corps photo by Capt. Maida K. Zheng

 

The Phase I complex is also configured with experimental systems in support of both training and experimentation. This training lane is capable of providing an instrumented AAR within a few minutes of scenarios ending.

 

(Phase II) Range IITB

The phase II outdoor site consists of a 120,000 square foot mock village with 76 structures, 239 rooms, and 3,020 feet of roads and paths. In addition to the After Action Review facility, the site includes 25 localized smell generators, six sound zones, 230 video cameras, and 29 rooms that are AVATAR capable.

 

All training lanes are capable of providing an instrumented AAR within 20 minutes or less of scenarios ending.

 

Scenario-based Training

 

The IIT provides a training facility for “hands on” practical application of tactical skills and decision making in an immersive, scenario-based training environment. Units can conduct dismounted, and limited mounted operations throughout the training complex. Operations may be conducted during both day and night.

 

 US Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Kelley prepares a DGI Phantom drone for vertical takeoff during Prime Time Training, at the Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) facility, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Joshua M. Jackson

 

The IIT supports Training and Readiness (T&R) individual and collective tasks, from the individual through company level, as well as rapidly evolving tasks that are theater directed and service approved, but not yet codified in the T&R manual. It creates a realistic training environment that presents complex scenario-based situations (tactical and human dimensions) and reinforces decision making skills. 

 

The IIT provides culturally realistic, reactive, dynamic, synthetic entities that allow realistic interaction with the COE (to include squad members, higher headquarters, adjacent units, supporting arms, civilians, and opposing forces).

 

Enhancing Core Skills

 

By learning to professionally and diligently carry out their duties in these types of situations, soldiers build upon their core infantry training, experience combat stressors and learn from their mistakes without the threat of real danger.

 

The realism presented in such kinds of training helps combatant teams to learn important lessons like the importance of staying cognizant of surroundings and keeping communication links strong.
 

US Marines drag a Marine to safety after encountering an Improvised Explosive Device during Prime Time Training, at the Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) facility, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Joshua M. Jackson


A Decision House

 

The IIT facility is designed to be a decision house for the Marine Rifleman and the Small Unit Leader (SUL); focusing on increasing the tempo of the OODA Loop during which an individual Observes a situation, Orients to it and develops courses of action (COA), makes a Decision, and Acts. 

 

Stress inoculation is conducted at the facility where a rifleman is put into multiple situations that in turn replicate the stressors and physiological responses faced in combat, thus building the individual’s stress-immune system.

 

Civilian Safety

 

In order to complete the highly realistic, scenario-driven training, the soldiers are required to be at peak performance as the IIT provides a chaotic environment complete with foreign sights, smells, sounds and civilian role players to intensify the training.

 

US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Riley McQuaid provides security for another fireteam at an Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Robert G. Gavaldon

 

By conducting training at the IIT, US Marines and partner forces gain insight into the types of environments they may face at some point in their careers, preparing them for a range of operations including urban terrains where civilians are intermingled with hostiles. 

 

Following each iteration run by the service members, the staff at the IIT present video clips and a phase-by-phase breakdown of what they did well, and what they need to improve upon. The main goal for this type of situation based training is to give civilians peace of mind that soldiers are there to protect them.

 

VIDEO

KATE UPTON WORKS OUT WITH MARINES

Disclaimer: The appearance of US Department of Defense (DoD) visual information on this website does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. 

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