Lockheed to use simulators in Army convoy training

In response to urgent requests out of Iraq, Lockheed Martin Corp. will train Army convoy drivers using eight high-tech simulators, the company said.

Under a $9.6 million contract from the Defense Department, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin will use Virtual Combat Convoy Trainers to teach advanced convoy skills and realistic weapons engagement.

Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support, Orlando, Fla., and subcontractor Firearms Training Systems Inc., Suwanee, Ga., developed the simulators. The VCCTs integrate Lockheed's Close Combat Tactical Trainer and Firearms Training Systems' small arms, precision weapons training system.

"This training capability is imperative to our deployed soldiers and we must field the training immediately to impact current warfighting deficiencies in the conduct of convoy operations," said Lt. Col. Joseph Giunta, U.S. Army product manager for Ground Combat Tactical Trainers at the Program Executive Office for Simulation Training and Instrumentation. "Convoy operations have accounted for about one-third of the casualties, injuries and deaths of our soldiers since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Jim Craig, Lockheed Martin vice president for ground, maritime and civil solutions, said the company had to work quickly to integrate the training system under a rapid procurement schedule.

The eight simulators are networked so drivers can interact as if they are an actual convoy. The systems include computer-generated forces so military leaders can war game different convoy configurations and determine the proper mix of trucks and combat support troops.

With prime government IT revenue of $5.5 billion, Lockheed Martin ranked No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue.

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