CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Israeli Defense Forces leaders were provided a tour from II Marine Expeditionary Force of various simulation facilities on Camp Lejeune, N.C., Mar. 10, 2021.U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Graham Hopkins, with G-37 Training and Simulations, II MEF, said this was an opportunity for II MEF to strengthen its ties with the IDF by providing them a tour of Marine Corps simulation facilities.
“This was an opportunity for us to make contact, begin establishing a positive relationship and hopefully build upon it for the future,” he said.
Across Camp Lejeune there are simulation centers provided for unit leaders to utilize prior to conducting any live-fire exercise and to conduct scenario-based training. Locations showcased included: the Infantry Immersion Trainer, Simulator Integration Center and Range Control Operations Complex, Gun Fighter Gym, a Marathon target system field test, and a meeting with Advanced Infantry Training Battalion-East leadership.
“The simulations were the highlights of their visit, specifically the Gun Fighter Gym where they had a blast using the indoor simulated range and weapons,” said Maj. Graham Hopkins, with G-37 Training and Simulations, II MEF.
“Overall, the tour was a resounding success, they got to spend a lot of time at the places they wanted to see and hopefully will receive more requests for visits down the line.”
Hopkins said IDF leaders were interested in how Marines integrated the simulation training to contribute towards being better warriors. At each location, representatives showcased technology and provided informed presentations on simulation capabilities.
Brig. Gen. Dan Goldfus, Chief of Paratroopers and Infantry Corps for Israeli Defense Forces, was the senior leader of the group.
“The purpose of our visit was to learn about the simulators and leadership courses, and how they are integrated into training and exercises to create both leaders and fighters for the battlefield,” Goldfus said. Goldfus said there were a lot of highlights from the tour that stood out to him the most.
“During the tour, what stood out to me the most were the simulators and how there were various levels of realism based on those scenarios,” he said. “The second highlight was understanding that there aren’t many live-fire exercises that most are done virtually through simulators and this allows inexperienced commanders to make mistakes and then excel from there to get better.”
Goldfus reflected on all he will return with to his unit and country, especially with the tour of Camp Lejeune facilities and key conversations he had with key Marine leaders including Maj. Gen. Francis L. Donovan, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division.
Photo by Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres
“With everything I saw today, I’ll bring back plenty with me, a lot to think about especially the conversations I had with the general last night and the other officers with him,” he said. “It was a very interesting conversation to understand that we both have more or less the same issues. I want to follow up with them and join hands to overcome these challenges.”
Goldfus said he was grateful for the opportunity to see the installation’s advance training centers and the people along the way.
“The openness and the kindness to teach and share from the Marine Corps is admirable, I take that with me as well, it was very humbling and I thank everyone for this opportunity,” he said. “The most important thing is the friendship we have with the Marines.”