Portable interactive system helps troops address improvised explosive devices – the most lethal element of combat today. Successful collaboration credited for rapid development and deployment of high volume trainer.
It has been just over one year since the first Mobile Counter-IED Interactive Trainer, or MCIT, was set up at Fort Bragg, N.C. to assist soldiers in recognizing and reacting to improvised explosive devices. In that time, over 15,000 warfighters nationwide have gone through the modified shipping containers featuring fictional video narratives and a computer game that are now set up at three different bases across the country. Other installations are at Camp Pendleton, Calif. and Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Miss.
“From the time this contract was awarded in 2009 to this one-year-anniversary milestone, this project has shown the power of strong relationships and collaborations across many organizations united in wanting to make a difference for our soldiers,” said Randall W. Hill, Jr., executive director of the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, which was awarded the initial MCIT contract. “The positive impact this trainer has made in such a short time should be a great source of pride for all of us.”
MCIT was funded through the Joint IED Defeat Organization and the Joint Center of Excellence, which also provided subject matter experts integral to the project.
ICT’s program managers at the U.S. Army RDECOM Simulation, Training and Technology Center (STTC) oversee it. Industry partner A-T Solutions was responsible for the original concept, administering the physical build and deployment of the system including field service representatives.
Isolated Ground, Psychic Bunny, Blind Spots Content, ExPlus, Quicksilver Software, and Stranger Entertainment provided additional creative, design and production services.
The MCIT containers each house interactive exercises that combine many of ICT’s core strengths in using storytelling, videogames and simulations as teaching tools. For example, story vignettes from an insurgent bomb maker and US soldiers help deliver the training materials and guide the trainees through the self-paced experience. Students also participate in a multiplayer videogame where they assume either the roles of being an insurgent ambush team or coalition military patrol.
A recent story in Defense News online reports that, “MCIT gets a thumbs-up from Marines who have used it at Camp Pendleton.”
“Our Marines get wrapped around the axle looking for the IED,” said Sgt. Alexander Wilterdink in the June article. “This helps break us out of the box, looking for the different components of the terrorist cell, like the triggerman or the camera guy, that we usually forget about.”