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JTAC Simulation Training at Hurlburt Field

JTAC Simulation Training at Hurlburt Field


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.)

Hurlburt Field, Okaloosa County, Florida, uses MetaVR VRSG in multiple JTAC simulation training systems. In 2018, a Joint Terminal Control Training Rehearsal System (JTC TRS) was installed at the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron (STS). This high-fidelity, fully immersive 5-meter dome simulator, which includes MetaVR visuals, 3D terrain, and models, is part of a production contract for 32 JTC TRS to be installed through 2019.

The Special Tactics Training Squadron (STTS) simulation facility at Hurlburt Field also uses a JTC TRS device for training. Their Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AJTS). was upgraded to a JTC TRS earlier this year.

The 23rd STS and STTS at Hurlburt Field use these immersive dome training systems to maintain qualification currency, provide continuation training, mission rehearsal, and enhance JTAC skills in tactics, techniques, and procedures. Such training enables warfighters to remain combat-ready when they are not deployed. 

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.  

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.

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.

Three desktop 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.

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.
The emulated SOFLAM device.
The VRSG-driven view through the simulated lens.

Like the JTC TRS, the AJS is used for continuation training, mission rehearsal, and enhancing JTAC skills. Use of the system aids STS in performing a variety of missions, among them JTAC tactics, techniques, and procedures during CAS missions.

The 720 STTS and 19th SOS are connected via network for DMO exercises, and the 720 STTS participates in the Virtual Flag exercises. 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.