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Zussman Mounted Urban Training Complex

Location: Fort Knox, KY


Client: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, KY

The Department of Defense enlisted the expertise of


Polyengineering, Inc., to design and engineer a training
facility that would prepare U.S. troops for the chaos,
confusion, stress, and pressure of war in an urban
environment. The mock city had to be large enough to host
a training exercise for a company/battalion task force with
helicopters, armor, infantry and Bradley Fighting Vehicles
and versatile enough to pose as a town located virtually
anywhere in the world.

The solution is Zussman Mounted Urban Training


Complex. Situated on 26 acres of rocky wilderness at Fort Knox, KY, this $13 Million project provides
the setting for soldiers to get the dramatic, hands-on experience needed to effectively fight and win a
war on an urban battlefield. The MUCTS has 16 buildings resembling the residential, industrial, and
government structures. The training site’s
command/control/observation facility is camouflaged as a
mock elevated water tower. The 4-Story Range Control
Tower has 3 operating levels and provides a 360 degree
visual of the entire range, all of which is in video range
through strategic placement of fiber optic video cameras.

In order to subject the troops to extreme levels of physical


and psychological stress typically experienced in an actual
urban conflict, a system of Hollywood special effects was
used that had never been used for military purposes.
Soldiers training at MUCTS will experience first-hand the
sights and smells of war, including speaker driven sound
effects simulating riot, fire, uprising, screams and voices in various languages (the language is
programmed by the trainer). During the exercise they will encounter a burning gas station; a timed
falling utility pole that blocks the roadway and even smell the sewer while crawling through the more
than 900 lineal feet of 48-inch sewer pipe. Hidden features are included in the design to maximize the
soldier’s stress levels, such as an exploding, collapsing bridge (which is structurally stable for a tank
crossing when not in collapsing mode); hand grenades that shoot out of a hidden passage and drop
at the soldier’s feet; 22 different locations within the compound that can suddenly ignite into flames;
and a massive automobile explosion.

Zussman Mounted Urban Training Complex stands today as a hallmark of excellence in urban
combat training, hailed by many training experts as the best and most realistic urban training facility
in the world.