WHINSEC Students Get Their First Experience in a Close Combat Tactical Trainer

WHINSEC Students Get Their First Experience in a Close Combat Tactical Trainer

By Dialogo
July 15, 2013

Thirty-six Spanish-speaking students attending WHINSEC’s Maneuver Captains Career Course applied their training in an exercise using the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT), on June 19, at Fort Benning, Georgia.

This is a first for WHINSEC and its Captains Career Course, with ten U.S. Army captains and 26 officers from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay attending.

Students, both U.S. and partner-nation, seemed to feel this simulation system puts the classroom training they have received into perspective.

U.S. Army Capt. Edgar Luna, an armor officer in the course, said, “Although nothing can replace real combat, this simulation is the next best thing for our U.S. and international partners because it provides a realistic virtual environment. CCTT allows the students to understand the doctrine learned in the classroom, including maneuverability, the concept of terrain, weaponry, the supply and sustainment process and the reality and complexity of movement.”

Luna also observed, “These officers [the Partner-nation students] are very excited; they get a good introduction to the vehicle systems that we have in our brigade combat team inventory. They experience vehicles such as the M1A1/M1A2 Abrams, and the M2A2 ODS/M2A3 Bradleys.”

Captain Julio Rojas of the Colombian Army confirmed this, saying this was a big deal for him because as an infantry officer he never experienced any type of maneuver with tanks. He said that the opportunity to see the combat power, mobility, and the utilization of the different types of munitions was incredible. “We have great instructors, but the U.S. students also contribute to our educational development because we constantly share experiences when we work projects and homework in small groups.”

Major Pedro Tirado, a small group leader at WHINSEC, stated that this was a good time to expose the students to CCTT because it brings a level of realism to the training. “This is the second year of the TRADOC-approved course that awards Military Education Level Foxtrot or MEL-F,” said Maj. Tirado. MEL-F designation is a requirement for all U.S. Army captains.

Because this simulation system can be organized to conduct exercises to support platoons through Battalion Task Force multi-echelon collective training, it can save money, time, and resources. Many of the international students expressed their hope that a version of this system could be implemented in their own countries.

The Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT) in the Clarke Simulation Center is one of the many resources at the MCoE which allow WHINSEC to replicate U.S. courses offered by the Army in Spanish. WHINSEC’s Maneuver Captains Career Course is a mirror-image of MCoE’s own course, and takes advantage of MCoE infrastructure and training facilities.

The MCCC-W is a 23-week course that closely follows the Program of Instruction of the proponent organizations. The MCoE is the proponent for the Maneuver Branch blocks of instruction that include company and battalion blocks. The School of Advanced Leadership and Tactics at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is the proponent for the Common Core curriculum, an eight-week block of instruction that all captains in the U.S. Army must receive.

The current course began on April 16, and will graduate on Sept. 26.

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