Arlington, Va.—Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral William E. Landay III has announced the funding of a $1.3-million "Tech Solutions" project to deliver advanced infantry immersive training to Marines. This project will field two systems by the fall of 2007. The first system will be installed in the I MEF Battle Simulation Center at Camp Pendleton, California, and the second will be installed in the new Marine Expeditionary Rifle Integration Facility opening this summer near Quantico, Virginia.
The Infantry Immersive Trainer (IIT) is one of several virtual environment training projects that recently emerged out of a decade´s worth of Office of Naval Research (ONR) science and technology investment. IIT will focus on treating Marines and Sailors and their supporting equipment (e.g., weaponry and information systems) as an integrated system to enable Naval warriors to win and survive in battle.
After the investment of nearly $75 million in human performance-, training-, and education-related technologies, ONR continues to focus on the advancement of optimizing warfighter performance in operational environments through technology development for the Marine Corps and the Navy. The IIT system will incorporate several ONR-sponsored technologies, as well as technologies sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command at the University of Southern California´s Institute for Creative Technologies. ONR´s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism science and technology department is leading the way to create training and education systems as part of the recently approved distributed operations Naval science and technology focus area. Distributed operations will enable dispersed small units to dominate an extended battlespace through advanced warfighter training. ONR has targeted $50 million over the next five years for its Human Performance, Training, and Education (HPT&E) program to develop the next generation of science and technology to optimize warfighter performance and small unit excellence.
The Tech Solutions program is an innovative, transformational business process created by the Chief of Naval Research that focuses solely on rapidly delivering needed technology to the fleet/force. This is accomplished by rapid prototyping and demonstrating technologies to meet specific requirements.
The requirement for infantry immersive training was initiated in the spring of 2006 by Lieutenant General James Mattis, the current I MEF commanding general, while he was commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. The U.S. Marine Corps Training and Education Command has incorporated this requirement into the Squad Immersive Training Environment Urgent Needs Statement.