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MP Company employs new combat convoy simulator

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There is more to military police than the provost marshal’s office.  The Marines of Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, are responsible for convoy security and route presences among other things during their high tempo of deployments. 

To stay current on their pre-deployment training, the Marines utilized the help of the new Combat Convoy Simulator at Camp Lejeune’s Simulation Center, Feb. 17-19.

“This really gets Marines in the mindset,” said 1st Lt. Roy V. Fish, 2nd Platoon commander, MP Company.  “They think it’s going to be like a video game in the beginning, but once they see [all the equipment] it seems almost real and they forget it’s a simulation.  Combat stress is almost replicated.”

The CCS is made up of 12 bays, eight humvees and two MTVRs all complete with crew-served weapons that function together and train as one convoy.

The CCS capabilities brief states that the CCS trainers provide an immersive training environment for convoy operations that simulate combat.  The training includes basic procedures for driver, gunner and passenger’s weapons usage and target engagement, driver evasive action, command and control procedures within the vehicle and convoy, and general familiarity with the terrain and environment.

Hank Trumble, the simulator center site manager, said during his 22 years in the Marine Corps he never saw a piece of equipment like the CCS.

“When I deployed in [2004 to 2005] we didn’t have any of this.  We had to do our training on the roads [in Iraq] and that’s not the place to learn that lance corporal [so-and-so] can’t drive, or doesn’t know how to shoot crew-served weapons.”

Platoon commanders, platoon sergeants and Marines who have deployment experience run the training, bringing vast amounts of knowledge.

“The way we’re training here is exactly how we’re doing it in Afghanistan,” said Fish, who just returned from a deployment there. 

Sgt. Stephen A. Davis, 2nd Platoon sergeant, said he concentrates on the Marines’ weaknesses and works to make them better while they can still correct mistakes.

“This is the most real-life scenario that they can mess up on, reset and carry on,” he said.  “As a platoon sergeant you take it very serious, and at the end of the day, you want all your Marines to come back alive.”

Sgt. Jeremiah M. Gerstner, 1st Platoon sergeant, said he takes his experience from four deployments to Iraq to teach his Marines.

“We try to start at the basics of what the Marines will come across and then move into more complex [immediate action] drills to ensure everyone is proficient. At MP Company we strive to be deployment ready at all times.”