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Virtual Reality goes to work, helping train U.S. Army Soldiers

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


The U.S. Army is responsible to provide routine and realistic training for Soldiers while mitigating risk. With emerging technology of the virtual world, this is becoming a reality.

Currently, VR is used by the military in all three major fields – ground, air and navy forces for flight and battlefield simulations, medical training, vehicle simulation, and virtual boot camps.

The New Jersey National Guard has released some photos that show how Soldiers 1-114th Infantry Regiment (Air Assault) train with a heavy weapons simulator at the Observer Coach/Trainer Operations Group Regional Battle Simulation Training Center on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J..

This virtual system is a computer training console with a simulated machine gun mounted on a stand. The gunner has to use a complex, but efficient system of switches and controls to maneuver the weapon, sight in using the head mounted display, and send massive amounts of cyber-rounds down range with precision.

Through a head mounted display and microphone, the soldier can see 360 degrees of the battlefield and speak commands.

The computer recognizes key words and acts accordingly; bringing up visual displays, changing to night vision or thermal sight or even stopping the vehicle, to name a few. The computer also takes into consideration the possibility of multiple enemy targets from the side and rear of the vehicle.

Also, the computer remembers where the soldier left off and will adjust the tutorials based on the amount of time since the last class in order to keep the soldier up to date and efficient. Targets moving across the screen can be anything from enemy troops, trucks and armored vehicles to helicopters.

Civilians are also brought into the scenario to help soldiers distinguish between enemy targets and civilians in order to make the right decisions while firing.

Photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht
Photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht

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