A Company That Creates Fake Battles to Prepare Soldiers For Real WarS

Some might say that nothing can truly prepare one for the atrocities of war. From the chaos of screaming civilians and injured soldiers to the horror of exploding everything, the experience must be nothing short of horrific. And it's this Hollywood production company's job to reproduce it.

San Diego-based Strategic Operations specializes in "hyper-realistic tactical training" and have helped train over 450,000 soldiers in the past decade. The company works with all five branches of the military to provide combat troops with a combat-like experience before they ship out, and based on this short documentary about the process, they're pretty damn good at it.

When you see the mock battlefields, you can tell that Strategic Operations is doing it right. There are ship simulators built for Navy operations as well as moveable mosques and marketplaces built to look like villages in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's (more) pop-up architecture of violence built for the military's consumption, and based on what returning soliders have said when comparing the training to the real thing, it's eerily similar. Let's hope you never have to see it for yourself. [The Vision Machine via Antoine Bousquet]