VMASC Battle Lab dedicated

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 7, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Dignitaries turned out in force Thursday to hail the shifting of the center for military simulation and modeling from Florida to Hampton Roads.

That was how Old Dominion University President Roseann Runte described the formal dedication of the VMASC Battle Lab computer simulation laboratory in north Suffolk.

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Gov. Mark Warner joined Suffolk Mayor E. Dana Dickens and officials from ODU and the United States Joint Forces Command to participate in the event.

The Battle Lab, which recently moved into its permanent quarters at Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center, is a place to use simulation for investigating new methods of war-fighting. It’s a direct application in a military setting and allows ODU students to further research the frontiers of simulation, according to VMASC literature.

The Battle Lab is also a Decision Support Center, supporting enterprises in simulating new methods of conducting business, which can then be evaluated.

Runte called the lab &uot;a portal to new worlds,&uot; and said the VMASC partnership of ODU and the Joint Forces Command &uot;is a partnership with a very bright future.&uot;

Warner hailed the Battle Lab as the &uot;center for simulation and modeling activity in the United States.&uot;

&uot;This is a signature event for Suffolk, for Hampton Roads, for ODU and the Old Dominion,&uot; Warner said. &uot;It’s one of the best places in America to test new methods of fighting wars.&uot;

The crowd present, largely made up of ODU officials, cheered the governor for his recent success in securing more education funding in the state budget. Warner made note of local legislators, Sen. Fred Quayle and Del. Chris Jones, for their support in funding education.

Dickens called Suffolk’s investment in VMASC &uot;one of the best decisions we made in the city.&uot;

He noted that Suffolk donated the land for VMASC, on the banks of the James River off College Drive, and said it was partly responsible for the large influx of high-tech companies that have located around it – including Lockheed. He said there’s been more than $500 million in such investment in Hampton Roads since 1997.

&uot;Since that time we have generated a huge amount of attention,&uot; Dickens said. &uot;You can see the future from here.&uot;