In the future, Marine commanders will be able to conduct large-scale exercises in a holodeck straight out of “Star Trek, The Next Generation,” the Corps’ top general said on Wednesday.
Right now, the Marine Corps uses simulations to train individuals, such as pilots or vehicle drivers, said Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.
“What I’m looking for is a simulation where a battalion or squadron commander or a regimental or a group commander or a division, wing or MEF [Marine Expeditionary Force] or a corps commander can go in and not have to put thousands of people on the battlespace and in the air and actually get them to do a repetition,” Neller said. “That is going to take some time.”
Simulation capabilities would allow commanders to run scenarios against future threats to gauge what equipment and tactics are most needed to succeed.
Corps officials are looking at what resources would be necessary to have a virtual wargaming facility at Quantico for Marine Corps University students to hold such exercises, Neller said.
Neller spoke at the Marine Corps League’s annual Modern Day Marine expo in Quantico, Virginia, where officials said on Tuesday that the Corps plans to increase the number of virtual wargames it holds annually from 11 to 20 over the next three to five years. Those plans could involve building a new center to house the simulation technology.
“In a perfect world, it would be like Jean-Luc Picard in ‘Star Trek,’” Neller said. “I’d walk into the holodeck and I’d go, ’Computer, Battle of Waterloo, 1812, Prussian army, I am in command, simulation — go.’ That’ll be here one day. You and I probably won’t see it. That’s what we need. We need the reps because we can’t afford to make a mistake in the fight.”