View Full Version : A discussion, when does a game become.....bad???

05-29-2007, 04:55 PM
I'm not sure if this should be here under TTPs or training?

Here's a video of terrorist or possibly a high school kid created from a commercial game called Armed Assualt:


The VBS-2 TDS that the Corps has is based off of that game engine.


1. There are additional capabilites that the military version has; pulling in NGA data for geo-specific mission rehearsal, pulling in 3rd party artificial intelligence for geo-specific "civilian and badguy," multiple 'nicholized' editing capabilities so that the end user can modify the game without requiring computer skills, instructor ability to insert additional events while the scenario is playing, and an advanced AAR capability.

2. We just began fielding the Deployable Virtual Training Environment (DVTE) last December, 1 suite consists of 33 high end laptop computers. It has multiple training simulations. Currently they are being fielded to the Regimental Level, next year they go to the Battalion Level. This is an unclass system.

Now for the discussion.......

The software, hardware, and users are not 'classified.'

Putting unclassified geo-specific terrain is not 'classified'

Marines training on the system is not 'classified'

After Action Review that captures the TTPs used is 'classified'???

When we have this fully fielded (hardware/software) it has the potential to become a one time use item. As soon as TTPs are captured, all computers become 'classified' and now the bulk of the Marines can no longer touch the computers because they don't have a clearance.

05-29-2007, 05:35 PM
Not only do I think that is a tad silly to wrap the classification blanket around the AAR, but they might as well kick all of the support contractors out of the VBS environment because they sit in the midst of the team/crew/squad/convoy AARs that are conducted by the leaders after each run-through. I frankly never paused to ask myself about whether the contractors were cleared - I guess I should have - but the salient point is that even if they have a security clearance, it doesn't mean they have been afforded "access" to any particular classified material (in this case AARs). Or do they come on board with that whole bow wrapped around themselves?

Interesting dilemma Nichols.

05-29-2007, 05:47 PM
Hi Nichols !

JC said it best. Access to classified has never been based on the level of an individuals clearance. Isn't it still on a 'need to know' basis ?

In our tiny two-man shop, in the middle of a civil war and refugee crisis, we still received traffic marked 'Datt eyes only'. Both of us had the exact same clearance levels and similar access to other agency material.

There were times Tom took his 'traffic' to the shredder himself. That's the way it should be.

As a contractor for many years here, I was 'permitted' access and refused. I even turned in the Security Assistance Officer to EUCOM when he tried twice to give me classified.

Good luck with the training !

05-30-2007, 02:06 AM
JC & Stan, I agree but there is still a problem.

The contractors that use VBS at the sim centers are cleared. The Marines that train with it have a need to know. Up until VBS-2 / VTK we always dealt with geo-typical terrain, never geo-specific.

From the Sim Center side of the house, the answer is easy, those buildings are usually alarmed and protected due to MTWS. Now back to where we are now; picture yourself as the 3, Stan, you and I are the Ops Chief ;)

Some guys from TECOM and PM Trasys delivered 33 laptop computers worth about 2k each not including software. Someone signs for the gear and is accountable.....Stan, that would be you......

Now we have been ordered to do a mission rehearsal for a NEO that we will be doing in 48 hours. The Intell bubbas put the terrain/language/culture plugins. The grunts practice the mission, AAR complete.......AAR classified.....all machines just become classified due to having classified data on them at one time.

Stan, you hurry up and turn the 33 laptops into the CommO and all is well, he signs for them and is accountable. Next mission comes up....now what?

JC, those contractors at the sim center first brought this to our attention. I've checked with NGA, open source data has no classification, LIDAR is different. I also checked with MCIA, no clear guidance, uncharted waters.

05-30-2007, 02:23 AM
Looks like you will need two sets of hard drives, one for the times when a classified trigger expected to be tripped, and an unclass one when Marines are just piddling around and getting dialed in. A very clear and concise classmat handling SOP is next...without question.

05-30-2007, 12:23 PM

To get a better feel for the dynamics at work, could you break an AAR down into its components IOT show where along the line it becomes a classified material issue?

I'm assuming that it has something to do with the AAR's capture of rehearsal components on that geo-specific terrain, so if that link can be broken (and hosted on another dedicated platform) there may be a work-around.

05-30-2007, 02:54 PM
JC, I think we're going to have to go with the dual hard drive scheme that you mentioned earlier. On ship this would be realitively easy, predeployment put the class hard drives in and change them out during crossdecking when returning to CONUS.

Maybe the MEU HQs gets issued 66 classified hard drives, and the Battalions don't get any?:confused:

I'm still hoping for a new thought, DOS has the multiple hard drives. Even though they are in a controlled environment, we where still passing out classified violation forms.:eek:

Breaking the AAR up into unclass or class is what MCIA is saying is uncharted waters.