FORT BLISS, TEXAS (June 25, 2010) - El Paso's newest members of the U.S. Army's Delayed Entry Program(DEP) had the opportunity to experience the Future Force Integration Directorate's virtual battle space when they spent the morning engaged in digital combat on the VBS2 computer gaming system at the Mission Command Complex.

Twenty four DEP members from the Zaragoza recruiting station, were given a tour of the facilities at the Fort Bliss Mission Command Complex which houses the VBS2 workstations that are being developed and customized to train soldiers in a virtual environment on the Brigade Combat Team Modernization equipment and tactics.

VBS2 is a software program that is a customizable computer simulation that allows multiple players at different workstations to engage in digital missions that don't require ammunition or training areas. The simulation is similar in many ways to a video game like Call of Duty's: Modern Warfare 2 that soldiers play in their free time but with emphasis on real world simulation.

El Paso native, Cindy Olvera who is contracted to be an Information and Technology Specialist when she leaves for basic training in August said "It was cool to see the weapons and tools you will be using in the Army. And this gives me a glimpse of the technology I might work with in my MOS."

The exercise walked the recruits through a few training missions to orientate them to the software's controls. They worked on virtual accuracy on the rifle range and performed a land navigation course which simulates the way the Army orienteer's with a hand held compass.

Nineteen year old, Cesar Rodarte who is contracted to be a cavalry scout explained that the simulation was interesting but the land navigation was the hardest part. He also commented on the realism but said games such as Modern Warfare 2 were more intense.

To conclude the training the recruits were divided into teams of twelve and engaged each other in a virtual game of capture the flag using communications and all the tools of the modern soldiers. Digital representations of Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs), tanks, and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPS) were provided for the participants to use in their virtual battle.

Next month the group will be exposed to the Electronic Marksmanship Training Facility which allows them the chance to handle and fire the Army's squad based weapon systems in a safe environment when impacts are show on a screen with light beams and no live ammunition is used.

For more information, contact Wesley Elliott, FFID Public Affairs Office, at (915) 568-4278.