FORT EUSTIS – The bow of the Army’s high-speed vessel pitched and rolled across the white-capped waves, slipping quickly through the sea.
Welcome aboard Fort Eustis’ vessel bridge simulator and welcome to the future of U.S. military training.
Virtual reality systems are key to the Pentagon’s vision of a new Joint National Training Capability program directed by the military’s Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk. The Defense Department plans to spend $1.2 billion between 2004 and 2009 developing the program.
Computer Science Corp.’s Virtual Ship software is built on commercial off-the-shelf software. The simulator operates on Windows NT and mixed Windows and Unix systems, the company says.
(SINGAPORE) The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has cut fees for mandatory courses and at its integrated simulation centre (ISC) by an average of 19 per cent this year.
The cuts apply to 13 of the assessment courses, including pilotage exemption, port limit tanker masters, passenger ferry safety and tug master training.
The state-of-the-art $12 million virtual vessel at Singapore Polytechnic is among the most sophisticated in the world, with inter-linkable simulation systems covering all aspects of ship operations, including engine room operations, pilotage and crisis management, with realistic bridge-view graphics.
ONE of the most advanced maritime training centres in Europe is running team building exercises for Merseyside office workers.
The Lairdside Maritime Centre in Birkenhead is part of Liverpool John Moores University and has developed the only 360º ship simulator in the UK.
It is used to train ships’ officers how to handle vessels using state-of-theart computer projections of the Mersey or other waterways.
Some of the tasks mariners are set include piloting a tug boat and guiding huge oil tankers up the river in whatever river or weather conditions the trainers decide.
“As we have the only 360º simulator in the country, delegates have the chance to plot a course down the River Mersey or a stretch of water of their choice and feel as though they are really there. It is so realistic that we often get cases of sea sickness!
“Our newly-introduced tug simulator forces the teams to work together and communicate while facing the task of connecting the two vessels and navigating them to port.”
Panama Canal Authority Announces Fiscal Year 2003 Metrics
Significant capital improvement efforts in FY2003 have contributed to the Canal’s ability to handle increased traffic. Projects have included: the deepening of the Gatun Lake channel; the acquisition of new locomotives and rehabilitation of the locomotive tracks; the addition of new tugboats; improved aids to navigations; a training and research maritime simulator center; and the implementation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) — a sophisticated vessel tracking system.
It will also feature a Maritime Training Site and a 27,000-square-foot Simulation Center for Regional Anti-Terrorism Emergency Management. The interior of the center will consist of a containment chamber, classrooms, science-type laboratories, a decontamination room and shower/locker facilities.
Link: Owens Community College
SINGAPORE : US and Singapore warships have hooked up their respective naval simulators, so they can conduct joint exercises virtually instead of travelling half way around the world for the drills.
This is one of the displays at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition, which focuses largely on the importance of security at sea and the maritime threats posed by terrorists.
But it’s not just about military hardware, it’s also about well-trained personnel capable of dealing with different scenarios and reacting to real threats.
That is why the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has not only developed its own realistic simulator but also linked it up with the US Navy’s Battle Force Tactical Training system.
This means the two navies can conduct joint high-tech simulator exercises, with realistic scenarios set around the world.
Navy to use more simulation training
HONOLULU – The Navy will invest in simulation software and applications in the future to help reduce the cost, time and strain of training its sailors, service officials said here this week.
The Battle Force Tactical Training system is being used during in-port exercises to improve the training of strike group command and control elements, from simple reporting procedures to the current application of rules of engagement in a realistic environment,” Doran said Nov. 5, at the AFCEA Hawaii chapter’s TechNet 2003 Asia Pacific Conference. “Through technology, our strike groups can practice and evaluate the tactics, techniques and procedures in port before getting underway.”
In addition to combat training, the Navy is distributing simulation software that can be used to practice navigating through unfamiliar waters.
“Soon — very soon — a ship heading into a port that they have never been to before will be able to practice the night before during their navigational detail brief, by plugging into this onboard simulator,” Doran said. “Our [ports] will be outfitted with bridge mockup simulators for complete navigation training. Our ships will be equipped with a version that is a virtual reality hood, designed to train individual watch commanders and enabling our sailors to see precisely what they would see from the bridge of their ships.”
Marine Week 2003, the largest maritime business exhibition in Asia, gets underway tomorrow at the BEXCO in Pusan from Oct. 21-24.
The exhibition is co-hosted by the Pusan city government, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the Korea International Trade Association.
The exhibition brings together 836 companies from 36 countries, including the United States, Germany and France, to promote their high-end products, according to organizers.
South Korean, Russian and Chinese firms are expected to showcase their latest port logistics systems, while some 63 defense-related companies from 13 countries, including the U.S.? Lockheed Martin, are scheduled to display state-of-the-art naval defense weapons and technologies.
“We cannot grow to 2,000 and beyond without the additional building,” McGonagle said. “It provides additional lab space for large engine testing – there will be enough space to hold pieces from a major diesel engine off of a ship – and a ship’s bridge simulator. Part of the curriculum involves the maintenance and overhaul of marine engines.”
Link: Texas A&M University at Galveston
The favorite exhibit so far seems to be a simulator allowing visitors to try their hand at guiding a towboat down the river using three computer-animated windows, two throttles and a lever.
“I crashed,” Costello had to admit.
Williams claimed success at navigating the towboat past another barge and under a bridge near downtown St. Louis, but he admitted there were no witnesses.
“I was 1-for-2 going through,” Jacoby said. “If you haven’t tried it, you don’t realize how hard it is. And it’s the identical software used by the actual barges.”
Link: The National Great Rivers Museum