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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.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
Toxic Chemicals Poisoned The Drinking Water At Military Bases. Now Congress Is Doing Something About It
Hoping to push for clean-up and to hold polluters accountable, members of Congress created a task force Wednesday to help constituents nationwide who have contended with drinking water contaminated by chemicals used on military bases.
A congressionally mandated commission is weighing whether women should be required to register for the Selective Service System, or whether the U.S. needs a draft registration system at all.
Confessions Of An Apache Pilot: What It's Like To Fly The Military's Most Heavily Armed Attack Helicopter
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.
In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."