Training and readiness affect mission success. The Marine Corps strives to identify new, inventive ways to train the force for the current and future fight as technology evolves and enemies strengthen.
Marine Corps Systems Command’s Program Manager for Training Systems plays a key role in preparing Marines for battle.
“PM TRASYS provides the Marine Corps with effective training systems and environments needed to successfully train and educate Marines,” said Col. Luis Lara, the program manager for TRASYS.
Located in Orlando, Florida, the organization furnishes Marines with training capabilities focused on winning combat in arduous conditions and operating environments. PM TRASYS oversees training products such as simulators, mock weapons, range targets and range instrumentation.
“We’ve produced products and services that touch every Marine,” said Koren Odermann, team lead for Collective Training Systems at PM TRASYS. “We provide training equipment from the crawl stage to the run stage.”
PM TRASYS incorporates modeling and simulation into its various trainings. Marines might participate in a virtual reality simulation when learning to shoot a weapon or to drive a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement without worrying about injuring passengers.
“Modeling and simulation optimizes your training because it allows Marines to repeatedly practice in a virtual environment, which enhances their cognitive learning.” Col. Luis Lara, the program manager for TRASYS
Simulation training can replicate situations on the battlefield. For example, Marines deploying to the Middle East can experience the sights, sounds and smells of the environment during a simulation regimen. They might even encounter locals of that region who speak the language, said Lara.
“You’re there without actually being there,” he said.
Each PM TRASYS portfolio—Collective Training Systems, Range Training Systems and Individual Training Systems—incorporates modeling and simulation into its programs.
Collective Training Systems acquires systems that incorporate Marine Corps elements in synthetic, simulated training environments. These systems train Marines in command and control, tactical decision-making, global wargaming, fire support and more.
For example, Combined Arms Command and Control Trainer Upgrade System forges a scenario-driven, simulated environment in which Marines can practice the teamwork needed to command, control and coordinate the use of supporting arms.
“Collective Training Systems provides virtual training to units and companies up to the battalion level,” said Odermann.
Range Training Systems provides bases and stations with live, Force-on-Force tactical engagement training and dynamic capabilities for real-time and post-mission battle tracking and review. The team influences tactical and pre-deployment training requirements.
“Range Training Systems includes shooting ranges that allow Marines to meet their qualifications before deployment,” said Robyn Ingerham, lead program analyst for Range Training Systems at PM TRASYS.
Within RTS are Infantry Immersion Trainers—small-unit training ranges consisting of urban structures that replicate specific locations. IIT includes systems that stimulate Marines’ senses and prepare them for specific situations, said Ingerham.
Individual Training Systems supports the individual Marine, crew and platoon in the familiarity, function and sustainment of warfighting. ITS technologies teach Marines tactical vehicle driving skills, organic weapons, marksmanship and combat supporting arms skills.
ITS may be most known for its delivery of the Underwater Egress Trainer, a system that teaches the skills needed to survive in emergencies such as submerged egress and vehicle rollovers. The trainer has been a major TRASYS accomplishment, said Ingerham.
“Marines are required to train with this system prior to going overseas,” she said. “III [Marine Expeditionary Force] uses the system quite heavily.”
PM TRASYS increases the Corps’ competitive advantage in a technology-driven environment. The organization provides training systems that increase Marines’ knowledge, skills and readiness. Marines who use PM TRASYS capabilities are better prepared for battle, said Lara.
“The U.S. for many years has had a technological edge on most countries we consider to be peers or near peers, but that edge is closing,” said Lara. “What I think will give us an edge now is better training, and PM TRASYS helps the Marine Corps accomplish this goal.”