Marines train with Operation Flashpoint

Starting this month, the US Marine Corps will use a special version of Operation Flashpoint for training purposes.

Codemasters has announced that VBS1, a special version of the tactical shooter Operation Flashpoint, will be used in US Marine Corps training programs. VBS1 (Virtual Battlefield Systems 1) was developed by Coalescent Technologies, a regular Department of Defense contractor, and Bohemia Interactive, the PC game's original developer. While the game is set in a 1980s-era conflict in Eastern Europe, VBS1 will use modern-day equipment and vehicles, as well as specific US military uniforms.

"The USMC and other branches of the Unites States armed forces are constantly investigating new and alternative tools to incorporate into the current training regimen," said Michael Woodman, program manager at Coalescent Technologies. "Our job is to research these tools and determine if they are, in fact, useful in training. In the case of the first-person military simulation games, the research has shown that they are useful tools, and Operation Flashpoint is the most valuable product we have found to date."

Operation Flashpoint is not the first PC tactical game to be used in US military training. The US Marines became specifically interested in Operation Flashpoint because of its large outdoor environments and mix of air, land, and sea vehicles, as well as the ability to create new scenarios with the built-in editor.

For more information, check out our previous coverage of Operation Flashpoint.

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