The Infantry Immersion Trainer at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton soon will expand.
A request for proposal will be published in the FebBizOpps in an estimated 30 to 60 days. Once published, it can be viewed online at www.fbo.gov.
The expansion will be in front of the existing 32,000-square-foot facility and will have an emphasis on improvised explosive device (IED) defeat, said Tom Buscemi, director of 1MEF Battle Simulation Center and the IIT.
Potential contractors will have to bid on the actual representation, he said.
While Buscemi cannot speak more specifically about the plans for the expansion in order to comply with procurement policies, more details will be available in the RFP.
The IIT is a mock village set up inside an old tomato processing plant on the north side of Camp Pendleton. It recreates the sights, sounds and smells of being in Iraq. The trainer also can be modified to resemble other similar developing nations that might become battle zones.
Since the trainer opened Nov. 15, 2007, roughly 6,000 Marines and Soldiers have trained at the facility.
Feedback from those men and women has been positive, Buscemi said.
He said the most popular response is: “Why didn’t we have this the first time?”
The idea is that a Marine's first firefight will occur in a realistic, but controlled, setting where he or she can learn the sights, sounds and smells of a warzone.
Another addition inside the facility was completed in December. It includes second-floor accessibility in some of the buildings to simulate sniper situations.
Half a dozen more buildings and market stalls are included in the addition. There also is a video screen that will help train the warfighters in identifying and defeating IEDs.
Camp Pendleton currently has the only IIT of its kind. Camp LeJuene, N.C., is looking into building one of its own.