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JTAC Simulation Training at Hurlburt Field

In 2014, Hurlburt Field, Okaloosa County, Florida, installed the Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AJTS). This high-fidelity, fully immersive simulator is the combined effort of QuantaDyn, USAF Trainer Development DivisionBattlespace Simulations  (BSI), Immersive Display Solutions (IDSI), and MetaVR. Using 17 MetaVR 3D visual channels, this training dome system is similar in appearance to a miniature IMAX theater and fully immerses the JTAC trainee in a 3D real-time virtual battlefield. The Hurlbert installation is part of the production contract QuantaDyn received for 21 systems, which were installed in 2014 and 2015 across the U.S.

This AJTS installation followed the installation in 2012 at Hurlburt Field of three AFSOC JTAC Simulators (AJS) from MetaVR and Battlespace Simulations as part of a rollout to several AFSOC, ACC, and ASOS JTAC training sites in the US and abroad.

The three AFSOC JTAC desktop simulators at Hurlburt Field were installed at the 23 Special Tactics Squadron (STS), the 19 Special Operations Squadron (SOS), and the 720th Special Tactics Training Squadron (STTS).

Portion of the AFSOC JTAC simulator at Hurlburt Field, with MetaVR visuals shown on the right.
Role player station of the AFSOC JTAC simulator at Hurlburt Field, with BSI MACE shown on the left and MetaVR visuals on the right.

The JTAC desktop installations at Hurlburt Field followed the accreditation of MetaVR and BSI’s JTAC simulation system by the Joint Fire Support Executive Steering Committee for JTAC training. The system is accredited for types 1, 2, 3 for both day and night, and for laser target designation with simulated military laser, in accordance with the JTAC Memorandum of Agreement. Type 1 accreditation requires either a head-mounted display (HMD) or a 220+ degree FOV dome display.

Portion of the AFSOC JTAC simulator, with BSI MACE shown on the left and MetaVR visuals in the middle screeen and the laptop's sensor view on the right.
Role player station of the AFSOC JTAC simulator, with BSI MACE shown on the left and MetaVR visuals on the plasma screen in the center and the laptop's sensor view on the right.

This JTAC desktop simulator is comprised of BSI's Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) entity generator and MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG). and is ideally suited for both standalone mission rehearsal and distributed mission simulation. The system includes an integrated software based Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) radio, a recording capability for recording and AAR/playback of missions, and a simulated SOFLAM or Mark VIIE laser range finder/laser designator.

The AFSOC JTAC simulator: pilot station, role player station, and instructor station.
The AFSOC JTAC simulator: role player station, instructor station, and JTAC trainee station.

At Hurlburt Field, the AJS installations are as follows.

  • The AJS system at 23 STS is the typical 6-computer installation, with a SOFLAM emulated laser designator device added a few months later. This system replaced a Meggitt IFACT system.
  • The 19th SOS has an AJS portable system, comprised of two laptops augmenting their Mission Rehearsal and Operation Center (MROC); BSI MACE generates the DIS entities and MetaVR VRSG provides the simulated UAV payload view.
  • Currently, the AJS installed at the 720 STTS augments the SAGIS simulator, and will soon replace it, when the SAGIS is decommissioned.

The emulated SOFLAM device used with the AFSOC JTAC Simulator at Hurlburt Field.   MetaVR VRSG-driven view thru the simualated lens of the SOFLAM emulator.
The emulated SOFLAM device (left) and the VRSG-driven view through the simulated lens (right).

The AJS is used for continuing training and mission rehearsal and aids STS in performing a variety of missions, among them being a JTAC in CAS missions.

Portion of the AFSOC JTAC simulator at Hurlburt Field, with MetaVR visuals and Mark VIIE emulator.
Role player setup of the AFSOC JTAC simulator at Hurlburt Field with BSI MACE on the left, and MetaVR visuals on the plasma screen in the center and on the notebook screen on the right.

The 720 STTS and 19th SOS are connected via network for DMO exercises. From May 14 to 24, 2013, the 720 STTS participated in the quarterly DMOC Virtual Flag. Conducted at the DMOC at Kirtland AFB, the Virtual Flag is a training event that enables US and NATO aircrews to train for combat in large-scale joint and coalition environments by linking simulators together and flying missions as one unit.

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