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DMOC JTAC Simulation Training with MetaVR Visuals

The US Air Force Distributed Mission Operations Center (USAF DMOC) at Kirtland Air Force Base has used MetaVR™ Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG)™ for networked Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) since 1997. In 2005, DMOC integrated the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)/Air Force Synthetic Environment For Reconnaissance And Surveillance (AFSERS) simulator, and later the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Battle Damage Assessment (ISR BDA) system.

MetaVR VRSG rendering of a JTAC character looking through a Vector-21 forward observer device.
VRSG rendering of a JTAC character looking through a Vector-21 forward observer device. The scene takes place on MetaVR's Afghanistan virtual terrain. Models and animations are from MetaVR's 3D content libraries.

In addition to using VRSG at Kirtland AFB, the Air Combat Command's (ACC's) 705 Combat Training Squadron at the DMOC faciliates the purchase and installation of VRSG at other ACC sites. In 2013 and 2014, the ACC's 705 Combat Training Squadron purchased and facilitated the installation of a number of MetaVR and BSI’s JTAC desktop simulators, called the J-T/OSS v2.0 Desktop System, at several ACC sites throughout the US.

The DMOC's JTAC-TACP/Operational Simulation Suite (J-T/OSS) v1.0 at Kirtland AFB consists of 5 MetaVR VRSG channels including an out-the-window view (OTW), 3 channels that emulate the view in handheld command and control (C2) devices including the M22 binoculars, the Mark VII laser range finder and the GLTD II laser target designator, and a single AAR/stealth channel. VRSG also provides UAV-produced ROVER feed for the J-T/OSS.

VRSG, in its First Person Simulator JTAC mode, is used to populate the JTAC coordinate location field critical to the functionality of the integrated Tactical Air Control Party Close Air Support System (TACP-CASS). By producing a target coordinate location overlay display for the Mark VII LRF, VRSG provides emulated Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR) functionality. VRSG also is integrated with the radio emulator that was added to the TACP-CASS. The radio emulator is a portable satellite communications radio put into a laptop computer, thus eliminating the need to tie up valuable satellite communications time.

Click to see higher resolution image.
Tech. Sgt. Ryan Fausey, 682nd Air Support Operations Squadron, demonstrates the Distributed Mission Operations Center Radio Emulator with MetaVR VRSG.(Notice the MetaVR JTAC character on his screen is the same character shown in the VRSG screenshots at the top and bottom of this page.) U.S. Air Force photo by Stefan Bocchino.

In December 2008, the DMOC integrated the J-T/OSS into the virtual battlespace to enhance JTAC/ TACP training capabilities. The J-T/OSS initially used VRSG’s entity attachment mode for the JTAC or CAS entity. Upon request from the DMOC, MetaVR accelerated development of First Person Simulator (FPS) for VRSG Metadesic; shortly thereafter, the J-T/OSS began using FPS to produce the JTAC entity, giving an operator full control of the field of view.

MetaVR VRSG visuals are used in many warfighter tactical training exercises conducted by the DMOC, such as the quarterly Virtual Flag events. In February 2011, MetaVR VRSG visuals were used at several participating sites during the Virtual Strike 11-1 warfighter tactical training exercise held by the DMOC. Focused on integrated JTAC and Joint Fires Observer TTPs regarding close air support, joint fire support and joint air attack teams in a synthetic, joint and coalition combat environment, this Joint Close Air Support (JCAS) proof-of-concept Air Support Operations Squadron training was the first fully distributed ASOC-JTAC exercise. Virtual Strike 11-1 featured the integration of armed, overwatch and ISR aircraft with full motion video to find, fix, identify, track, target, engage and assess fixed and moving targets.

The DMOC Virtual Flag exercise is a seven-day event that  links geographically separated live, virtual, and constructive entities in shared joint and coalition synthetic theater environments to create a realistic virtual campaign. Warfighters participate from worldwide locations.

DMOC Coalition Virtual Flag 09-4 event in 2009 with VRSG First Person Simulator (FPS) running in the display. Image courtesy of USAF Distributed Mission Operations Center, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.

Among the Virtual Flag events of 2010 that used VRSG visuals was the second Coalition Virtual Flag exercise, which took place in September 2010. The event enabled representatives from Australian, Canadian, and British services to train with 20 operational and tactical U.S. units at Kirtland AFB and numerous remote locations.  

In September 2009, the DMOC at Kirtland Air Force Base used VRSG in its enhanced training for 21 Joint and Coalition JTAC and tactical air control party (TACP) personnel during the first ever Coalition Virtual Flag Event.

Click to view high-resolution version of image.     Click to view high-resolution version of image.
DMOC Coalition Virtual Flag 09-4 event in 2009 with VRSG running in the display. Images courtesy of USAF Distributed Mission Operations Center, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.

During "Coalition Virtual Flag 09-4", held Sept. 16-24, 2009, representatives from Australian, Canadian, and British air services collaborated with 25 U.S. and overseas elements in a tactical-to-operational level battlespace exercise originating from the DMOC at Kirtland AFB. 

This exercise focused on a more seamless joint and coalition fight and integrated training, assets and weapons from each of the services including the Air National Guard and Reserve. VRSG was used to populate fields in the laser designator PDU, believed to be the first successfully used in a DMO networked environment. VRSG provides the ability to produce simulated friendly fire incidents due to aircraft incorrect heading in relation to the JTAC laser designator.

MetaVR VRSG real-time rendering of a scene featuring a JTAC team.
VRSG real-time rendering of a scene featuring a JTAC team and GLTDII device on MetaVR's Afghanistan virtual terrain. Models and animations are from MetaVR's 3D content libraries.

 

 

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