Ship Simulation for the New 1200’ Lock at LaGrange

The Corp has scheduled the LaGrange ship simulation for Feb 5-9 and Feb 12-16. The ship simulator is located at the Engineering and Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg MS.

Each week we will need two Pilots (2 the 1st week and 2 the 2nd week). The pilots will perform a simulation matrix for ERDC to gather data for the analysis and report.

We would like one of the pilots to be less experienced (less than 5 years) to work through the simulation matrix.

On February 5th, I would like to invite anyone from Industry who would like to participate to visit the Physical Model and the Ship simulator. We will spend the day viewing the physical model with the scale boats available to run through the model. We will also visit the ship simulator for all to see the simulator in action.

Here is the proposed agenda for the two weeks.

Screenshot 2023-10-20 173216

The government will likely be able to pay for the travel, lodging, and per deim for 4 Pilots. The government allowable rates may not cover everything but it should help with costs.

I would like IRCA to coordinate with its members to determine the 4 pilots. Then I can contact them to work the details.

Also, I will need the names, company, Job Title, Phone Number, and Email for the 5 February larger group meeting in Vicksburg MS. Feel free to have people send info to me and I will complete the list.

Screenshot 2023-10-20 173401

Lastly, I also have a few questions for industry regarding the ship simulation.

  1. USACE is planning to use a 5400HP and 6000HP Tows in the simulator. Are those Tows that typical at LaGrange?
  2. USACE is planning on 1200’ Tows 110’ wide, Does the industry want raked barges on the front or back of the flotilla?
  3. Do tow pilots use any landmarks to navigate in and out of LaGrange that should be included into the simulation?

If you have any questions or need anything feel free to reach out.  I would like to thank IRCA for your valuable technical input to this project.


Thomas E. Mack P.E.
Technical Lead
US Army Corps of Engineers,
Rock Island District
Clock Tower Building
PO Box 2004
Rock Island IL


Phone: 309-794-5664
Cell: 309-912-1987