A new high-tech simulation is now available to U.S. Army captains who are preparing
to lead infantry units in urban warfare scenarios.
The computer game, called Full Spectrum Command, is the first of its kind,
because it was specifically designed to make trainees “think through”
the challenges associated with urban combat, said Col. Paul E. Melody, the Army’s
director of combined arms and tactics directorate at the Infantry School, in
Fort Benning, Ga.
The Infantry School plans to take advantage of the advanced features in Full
Spectrum Command to help captains hone their company-commander skills, Melody
said at a Pentagon news conference. The simulation, he explained, is a useful
tool for a captain seeking to learn how to “build a plan to fight the
enemy.” The trainee “enters his plan in the computer,” said
Melody. The computer, assisted by the instructor, plays the role of “an
asymmetric threat,” such as a terrorist organization.
What makes the training valuable, he said, is that “the captain only
sees what he would see if he were in combat, as he moves into a building. It
lets him experience the command-and-control challenges of fighting in this kind
Full Spectrum Command was designed and developed at the Institute for Creative
Technologies, in California. The Army chartered the ICT four years ago to create
a liaison between the service and the entertainment industry, for the purpose
of enhancing simulation-based training.
The ICT had an $8 million budget to develop both Full Spectrum Command and
a companion urban-warfare computer game, called Full Spectrum Warrior. The latter
is a cognitive training aid for squad training, for small unit tactics and unconventional
In Full Spectrum Command, the captain leads a force of three rifle companies—with
about 140 troops each.
Rob Sears, an ICT producer, said that engineers were instructed to create a
game that would “get into the thought process” of crafting war tactics.
“We were modeling command and control as a process,” Sears told
an industry conference last month, in Orlando, Fla.