JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J., (July 9, 2011) - Soldiers from the 99th Regional Support Command practiced their Warrior Task skills at the Virtual Interactive Combat Environmental (V.I.C.E) trainer in preparation for the upcoming annual training mission dubbed “Operation Checkerboard”.

“Operation Checkerboard” is designed to sustain Army Warrior Tasks in a field environment and enables the leadership to effectively allow commanders to adequately assess units on all Full Spectrum Operations Mission Essential Tasks.

“V.I.C.E is a training tool that allows us to put Soldiers or students into an environment where they are able to maneuver, shoot and communicate as a squad,” said Frank Dulisse, V.I.C.E instructor.

According to Dulisse, the major challenge with V.I.C.E is getting familiar with the weapons systems.
“The weapon is equipped with two toggles that allow the Soldier to maneuver and look around the battlespace,” explained Dulisse. “Depending on the age of the Soldier that we get in here some of them are more familiar with it because of playing Xbox.”

V.I.C.E currently has three different types of weapon systems: M4 Assault Rifle, M203 Grenade Launcher, and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

Staff Sgt. Dennis Turner has experienced V.I.C.E training before however it was not in the military, but in law enforcement. As a Reserve Soldier, Turner has been able to enhance the overall mission by utilizing the skills he acquired as a Philadelphia law enforcement officer.

Turner deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division but did not have the opportunity to use this technology prior to going to combat.

He believes this type of training is essential to mobilization operations because of the practice the Soldiers get in area they may be unfamiliar with.

“I think this training is important because it can help Soldiers come up with strategies when they have to shoot, move and communicate,” Turner explains. “It also allows the Soldiers to reinforce their Warrior Tasks while in an urban terrain.”

Some have said V.I.C.E is like a video game however it is an experience that prepares the Soldiers for different scenarios.

V.I.C.E instructors are able to create and implement scenarios on the fly and add any amount of enemies and vehicles to test the Soldiers’ battle drills. After the Soldiers complete their battle drills, the V.I.C.E instructors are able provide instant feedback to assist in the squads’ after action reviews.

“The training here today gave the Soldiers the opportunity to understand and practice urban terrain tactics better in preparation for Operation Checkerboard,” 1st Sgt. David Gallman concluded.

The 99th Regional Support Command acts as a “virtual installation” that provides world-class base operations support to over 50,000 Army Reserve Soldiers, 400 units and 300 facilities for the entire Northeast Region from Maine to Virginia for the Army Reserve in order to give our Warrior-Citizens and their Families the finest care, support, services and training.