Along with what they can plainly see, Marines in training will search for escape tunnels, hiding places, weapons caches and other dangerous spaces. The facility has almost 1,900 feet of underground tunnels, a manmade riverbed and dozens of courtyards and compounds.
The Marine Corps says the simulators help expose troops to the chaos and stress of close combat, so they can think on their feet once they are on the battlefield and be psychologically prepared for traumatic events.
In November, the Marine Corps unveiled a $30 million expansion of its mock Afghan village at Camp Pendleton that nearly quadrupled its size. In that facility, Marines scramble through a maze of mud walls leading to mosques, schools and carpet sellers, as Hollywood-style explosions go off.
Similar immersion training facilities are slated to open this year at Marine Corps bases in North Carolina, Hawaii and Okinawa.
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