Defense

August 2, 2012

Virtual reality used to train Soldiers in new training simulator

Tags:
by Maj. Loren Bymer
Fort Bragg, N.C.

SSgt. Casey Liffrig, a squad leader in 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, briefs his squad on the operation order on the Dismounted Soldier Training System before entering a simulated battlefield environment, July 26, 2012, at Fort Bragg, N.C. Fort Bragg is receiving the first three out of 40 DSTS kits that are being issued to units across the Army this year.

The Army is responsible to provide realistic training for individual soldiers while mitigating risk. With emerging technology of the virtual world, this is becoming a reality.

The first-ever, fully immersive virtual simulation training system for soldiers is being fielded at Fort Bragg. The Dismounted Soldier Training System will be available for leaders to enhance their Soldiers’ training in a fully immersive, virtual reality environment.

This virtual system allows leaders at the squad level to maintain their squad’s proficiency of their assigned tasks in a timely and safe manner, even in the event new soldiers arrive to the unit.

“This system gives the power of simulation to the squad in order to close the gap of individual Soldier training and collective training,” said John Matthews, project director, Assistant Project Manager for Close Combat Tactical Trainers. “This system enhances training; it does not replace it.”

Paratroopers of 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, conduct simulated missions, July 26, 2012, at Fort Bragg, N.C., using the Dismounted Soldier Training System, a virtual reality environment with unlimited mission possibilities.

The ability to train with this system allows the “reset” time to be cut down, which allows the ability to get more repetitions in a shorter amount of time and the ability to review each mission on a television screen to enhance the after action review process upon completion of each mission.

“You can mold the situation, and you can do it as many times as you want and give younger guys a chance to step up and be leaders. I can see us in the future using this system to conduct rehearsals,” said Sgt. Charles Haywood, team leader, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

With a wide variety of environments, and the ability to insert specific entities into the scenarios, the options for training opportunities are virtually limitless; rehearsals for missions or live-fire exercises are just a couple of examples. Currently, the programmed training environments include mountainous, wooded, and desert. These are intended to simulate places like Afghanistan and Iraq, but are not limited to only these specific scenarios.

“I think everybody accomplished the missions, minus some casualties. But that’s part of [the training]; retrain and try again. [The DSTS] would make part of a well-rounded training cycle, a little bit of this on top of field time can get you different views and situations,” said Haywood.

The system itself is divided into five distinct work areas. The Soldier Simulated Training area is a 10-foot by 10-foot area with a manned module pad, which provides feedback for the Soldier to safely move in his or her space.

The Exercise Control Workstation is the brains behind the system and allows the trainer to create, modify, and execute training exercises. This workstation controls each person participating in the training.

Virtual Soldier Multi-function Workstations allow additional virtual soldiers, vehicles, neutral or opposing forces to “participate” in the training and is controlled by a keyboard and mouse by an additional individual.

The Semi-Automated Forces Works station gives the trainer the option to create additional static items like furniture and buildings or items that are animated such as dogs and birds, inside the virtual world. There can also be modifications made during the scenario like adding an improvised explosive device or more vehicles and combatants.

“You can do things on this system that you can’t [train on] as often here as in the field like air assault missions and capturing [high value targets], whether it be the weather, or having to get ranges,” said Haywood.

Finally, there is an after action review area to allow for an assessment of the scenario. Soldiers can watch as the events unfold with radio communication between squad members and shots fired. This area can be configured to a real-time station that allows visitors to witness what is taking place in the virtual world.

“We see [the DSTS] enhancing fundamental tactics and creating an environment to refine shooting, moving, and communicating in a non-fatal manner to increase the Soldiers’ and squad’s capability and decrease fatalities in theatre,” said Clarence Pape, vice president of Department of Defense Services at Intelligent Decisions.

The initial phase of the fielding will involve delivering three systems to the Fort Bragg Virtual Training Facility and validating them by 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Upon being validated, other units on the installation will be able to use them. Additional systems will be delivered to Army installations worldwide for soldier use in the following weeks.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>