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JTAC Simulation Training at Hurlburt Field

JTAC training at Hurlburt Field, Okaloosa County, Florida, uses VRSG in multiple JTAC simulation training systems.

The Special Tactics Training Squadron (STTS) simulation facility at Hurlburt Field use the Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AJTS), which includes MetaVR visuals, 3D terrain and models. The installation of this high-fidelity, fully immersive dome simulator at Hurlburt was part of the production contract QuantaDyn received for 21 systems, which were installed in 2014 through 2016 across the U.S.

The STTS simulation facility also conducts training with BSI/MetaVR desktop JTAC simulators in a two-classroom setup with 24 MetaVR VRSG licenses coupled with BSI’s MACE software. Each classroom consists of eight JTAC student stations, an instructor station, an instructor role-player station, and a NVIS Ranger 47 simulated laser range finder. Each station contains a communications suite on a tablet with BSI’s Viper DIS Radio software to simulate PRC-117, PRC-148, PRC-152 radios, and a ROVER feed of VRSG’s simulated sensor view. Two terrain servers are loaded with MetaVR’s CONUS++, Asia, and Africa terrain datasets and 3D content. The two classrooms share a DIS network, which enable students to collaborate on exercise missions.  

One of the two classrooms of JTAC desktop simulators at the Special Tactics Training Squadron (STTS) simulation facility at Hurlburt Field. (Photo courtesy of BSI.)

In 2015, BSI was awarded a contract by Special Operations Command to install the two classrooms with simulators and all new hardware initially at the Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course (SOTACC) facility at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ. The two classrooms were subsequently moved to the STTS facility at Hurlburt Field and installed by BSI in 2017.

Portion of the two-classroom setup of JTAC simulators at Hurlburt Field, with MetaVR visuals shown on the right.
Role player station of the AFSOC JTAC simulator at Hurlburt Field, with BSI MACE shown on the left and MetaVR visuals on the right.

Three AFSOC JTAC Simulators (AJS) from MetaVR and Battlespace Simulations as part of a rollout to over 30 AFSOC, ACC, and ASOS JTAC training sites in the US and abroad. These systems were installed at the 23 Special Tactics Squadron (STS), the 19 Special Operations Squadron (SOS), and the 720th Special Tactics Training Squadron (STTS).

The JTAC desktop simulators are all comprised of BSI's Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) entity generator and MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) and are ideally suited for both standalone mission rehearsal and distributed mission simulation. The system includes an integrated software based Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) radio, a recording capability for recording and AAR/playback of missions, and an emulated a laser range finder/laser designator.

Portion of the AFSOC JTAC simulator at Hurlburt Field, with MetaVR visuals and Mark VIIE emulator.
Role player setup of the AFSOC JTAC simulator at Hurlburt Field with BSI MACE on the left, and MetaVR visuals on the plasma screen in the center and on the notebook screen on the right.

At Hurlburt Field, the AJS installations are as follows.

  • The AJS system at 23 STS is the typical 6-computer installation, with a SOFLAM emulated laser designator device added a few months later. This system replaced a Meggitt IFACT system.
  • The 19th SOS has an AJS portable system, comprised of two laptops augmenting their Mission Rehearsal and Operation Center (MROC); BSI MACE generates the DIS entities and MetaVR VRSG provides the simulated UAV payload view.
  • Currently, the AJS installed at the 720 STTS augments the SAGIS simulator, and will soon replace it, when the SAGIS is decommissioned.

The emulated SOFLAM device used with the AFSOC JTAC Simulator at Hurlburt Field.   MetaVR VRSG-driven view thru the simualated lens of the SOFLAM emulator.
The emulated SOFLAM device (left) and the VRSG-driven view through the simulated lens (right).

The AJS is used for continuing training and mission rehearsal and aids STS in performing a variety of missions, among them being a JTAC in CAS missions.

The 720 STTS and 19th SOS are connected via network for DMO exercises, and the 720 STTS participate in the Virtual Flag exercise. Conducted at the DMOC at Kirtland AFB, the Virtual Flag is a training event that enables US and NATO aircrews to train for combat in large-scale joint and coalition environments by linking simulators together and flying missions as one unit.

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