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VMASC Hosts Medical Modeling and Simulation Research Conference

Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) is hosting a Senior Medical Leader Seminar (SMLS) this week sponsored by U.S. Forces Joint Forces Command's (USJFCOM) Office of the Command Surgeon.

The four-day interactive seminar will focus on irregular and hybrid warfare and the implications for future Joint Task Force (JTF) medical leaders. The SMLS is scheduled to run from July 28-31.

According to conference organizers, attendees will gain insight into becoming senior medical leaders in a JTF and broaden their horizons through briefs and discussions. They will also interact with senior leader medical personnel who served in JTFs during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and participated in Pacific Partnership on the hospital ship USNS Mercy.

Seminar attendees "need to understand the tenets of irregular warfare/hybrid warfare and they also need to understand the tenets of joint," said Navy Rear Adm. Michael H. Mittelman, command surgeon for USJFCOM.

"A lot of personnel don't have the opportunity to work with the other services and our interagency partners, so one of my key goals is for the participants to understand first of all what the other services' languages are, what some of the services' cultures are, and then the big picture."

Panel discussions throughout the event will allow both speakers and attendees to discuss their experiences and share knowledge on how best to support joint forces. Students will also receive exposure to modeling and simulation demonstrations and futuristic medical technological capabilities.

Former VMASC executive director Mike McGinnis said medical modeling and simulation research has become a very important field for VMASC and the M&S cluster in Hampton Roads.

"This medical event is one of several that VMASC hosted recently and reflects the growing capability of the region," he noted.

"Progress in this important area is a credit to our ODU and VMASC medical M&S research faculty, Dr. Mohammad Frejdallah, Dr. Stacie Ringleb and Dr. Mark Scerbo, and to our great research partners from USJFCOM, Portsmouth Naval Medical Hospital and EVMS, in particular, Dr. Don Combs."

VMASC has also received exposure in the latest edition of Military Training Technology, America's oldest simulation and training magazine.

In the May/June issue of the periodical, VMASC is spotlighted as "advancing the art of modeling and simulation across multiple applications."

The magazine notes that at VMASC's new $12 million facility in Suffolk, "work commissioned by military clients has been largely responsible for the growth of VMASC and for the expanding economic impact of modeling and simulation on Hampton Roads."

The journal notes that modeling and simulation is one of the fastest-growing high-tech sectors in Virginia, supporting an annual workforce of more than 4,500, with an average annual salary of more than $80,000.

McGinnis told Military Training Technology that in addition to its innovative research, VMASC has been the catalyst for the rapid rise of a modeling and simulation industry in the region that contributes an estimated $400 million to $600 million to the economic output annually.

McGinnis is now director of the Peter Kiewit Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. John Sokolowski, who was the first person in the country to graduate with a doctorate in modeling and simulation engineering, from ODU, is now acting executive director of VMASC.

This article was posted on: July 20, 2009

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