The Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan is the center of operations for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet and is also now home to a brand new, $6.0 million state-of-the-art “battle lab.”
Set in a formerly abandoned bunker dug into the side of a hill, the facility was launched on Monday according to Stars and Stripes. The inaugural simulation, dubbed Operation Coral Dagger, involved American and Australian forces maneuvering against a fictional foe called the Kamarians, an opposing force used in Australian military training.
The military publication called the exercise “a far more complex game than multinational forces had ever been able to play in Japan before Monday.” The simulator allows multi-national forces from all over the world to participate, whether they are on a ship, sitting in a flight simulator or parked in front of a computer.
The “battle lab” allows training to continue even when ships are docked for maintenance. Japan and other U.S. allies will be able to take part alongside the U.S. in future simulations.
The current four-day exercise included “sailors from Yokosuka’s Commander Task Force 70 and the Sasebo-based Commander Task Force 76, Army Patriot missile batteries, Air Force personnel and sailors from the Australian navy’s HMAS Darwin operating from HMAS Watson."
“We get to play video games against the best navy in the world,” said Lt. j.g. Doug Martin, Air Defense Officer on the USS Cowpens, “It sure beats playing Halo 3.”
Photo caption (from Stars and Stripes) - Sailors from the USS Cowpens react to incoming data during Operation Coral Dagger, a four-day bilateral exercise with the Australian Navy that served as the grand opening of a new battle lab at Yokosuka Naval Base on Monday.