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Archive for April 15th, 2011

Virtual Battle Space 2 at Fort Campbell

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Fort Campbell recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Virtual Battle Space 2 training facility. The building was opened after a year of development and increases Fort Campbell’s ability to train soldiers on tactics and procedures. Around 100 soldiers (a company) can log-in to the VBS2 game at once now.

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Virtual Team Chief Adam Williams said that the main advantage of using video games to train soldiers is efficiency. “We only have so much space for training out in the field. And training’s expensive with fuel costs, ammo,” he said. Because of space and seasonal limitations, a unit typically books only 3 days of field training at a time.  If they’ve already learned the standard operating procedures on a video game, troops won’t waste time in the real-world drill. At least, that’s how it goes in the best case scenario.

Williams said in the days before video games, soldiers did basic rock drills. “You’d have a sand table set up,” he explained, “And you can get a whole bunch of matchbox cars, and pull things around a sand table and practice it that way, or stand there with three by five cards.” The army pays homage to those days with a sand-table filled with plastic  army men in one corner of the facility.

VBS2 is not available for retail, but the military offers other games to the public. America’s Army has been an educational and recruitment tool since the early 2000’s.

Written by Angela Hatton

April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Datebook: April 15 – Jackie Robinson Day

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Jackie Robinson played his first game with the Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

It’s Friday, April 15. 

Murray’s Playhouse in the Park opens “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” tonight.  The show runs through the 23rd.  Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays.  There’s also a matinee this Sunday at 2:30 p.m.  Get tickets at

West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s Clemens Fine Arts Center in Paducah presents Nunsense tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30, Sunday at 2:30.  Tickets are $15.

Sunday at 2 p.m. Murray State’s Symphony Orchestra presents a free concert in Lovett Auditorium.

Tomorrow brings a one day safe boating course to the Janice Mason Art Museum’s lower level at 71 Main in Cadiz.  It runs 8 to 5 and families are welcome.  There is a $20 fee for textbooks and materials for which advance payment is required.  Contact Ken Culwell at 270-924-0363.

Tonight at 7 the Jackson Purchase Dance Company offers its “all you can eat” dessert performance with a production of “The Hobbit:  A Story Ballet.”  Admission is $8.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Watch today’s possibly severe weather alerts at as well as on air.  Take care.

morning cram [bonus edition]

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Somali piracy has grown into a multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise. Rarely a week goes by that pirates don’t attack or seize a ship.

NPR reports on the business-end of piracy, where pirates share profits and even distribute incentive bonuses.

WEATHER~ Possibly severe conditions today.

KENTUCKY~ The EPA is making TVA fix-up or close two coal-fired units at McCracken’s fossil plant. A Mayfield mom is suing the city school system alleging negligence led to her daughter’s (alleged) rape. Gubernatorial hopeful Phil Moffett gets endorsed by a national libertarian group. So the New Madrid fault earthquake in the early 1800’s wasn’t as strong as people thought.

TENNESSEE~ Jobless rates stay the course, but Montgomery County is hoping for 500 more. GOP/Dems spar over hospital fees.