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Marine Commandant Wants A ‘Star Trek’-Style Holodeck For Wargaming
The Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, wants a sci-fi-inspired holodeck so he can war where no one has warred before, reports Marine Corps Times.
“In a perfect world, it would be like Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek,” Neller said. “I’d walk into the holodeck and I’d go, ’Computer, Battle of Waterloo, 1812, Prussian army, I am in command, simulation — go.’”
In his comments at the annual Modern Marine Expo at Quantico, Virginia, last week, Neller said he wants to take simulated training — which is currently used to help get individuals up to speed on weapons and vehicles — further than the service has gone yet.
“What I’m looking for is a simulation where a battalion or squadron commander or a regimental or a group commander or a division, wing or MEF [Marine Expeditionary Force] or a corps commander can go in and not have to put thousands of people on the battlespace and in the air and actually get them to do a repetition,” Neller said. “That is going to take some time.”
The service is still trying to determine just how feasible it would be to create a virtual wargaming facility at Quantico, Marine Corps Times reports, but it does plan to increase the frequency of simulated wargames it runs, raising the annual number from 11 to 20 over the next several years.
U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Glenn Walters, right, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps observes Marines training on simulator training systems during a visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 27, 2017.U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Abraham Lopez
Militaries the world over have always looked to science fiction for ideas. The Army’s Research Laboratory recently drew some inspiration from James Cameron’s Aliens with plans for a robotic third shooting arm for stability, and both U.S. and British arms developers are working on space-age pieces of headgear. Let’s not forget all the drones, hoverbikes, and terminators. This isn’t even the first time the Marine Corps has tried to rip off Star Trek, with the service teasing the possibility of battlefield-ready tricorders — ahem, “innovative scanners” — last May.
That said, being able to recreate past fights, or simulate future ones on a grand scale could be pretty useful to battlefield commanders. Simulators for ground troops are fast becoming par for the course, and with good reason. As Task & Purpose’s Sarah Sicard reported in August, virtual training allows troops to get familiar with real-life scenarios, so they can make the most of costly large-scale live-fire training exercises, essentially pre-training for real-life exercises.
Extending that opportunity to a battalion, regimental, or division commander, seems like a natural progression. Besides, who doesn’t want to step up to a console and say: Computer, engage.
More than 7,500 boots on display at Fort Bragg this month served as a temporary memorial to service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.
The boots — which had the service members' photos and dates of death — were on display for Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and for the 82nd Airborne Division's run that kicked off All American Week.
"It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.
After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.
The Navy's latest Northwest Training and Testing draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment (NWTT EIS/OEIS), first detailed by the Seattle Times on Friday, reveals that " the kinetic energy weapon (commonly referred to as the rail gun) will be tested aboard surface vessels, firing explosive and non-explosive projectiles at air- or sea-based targets."
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
An NSA cyber weapon is reportedly being used against American cities by the very adversaries it was meant to target
In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.
The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.
Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.
"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.