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.


 
 

 
Army photograph

Fifth generation Army tank cartridge reports loudly for duty

Army photograph A new tank cartridge was recently tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Pictured here are: (from left) Kent Evans, TRADOC Capability Manager – Armored Brigade Combat Team; Kevin Mulligan, Armament Researc...
 
 

Acquisition community works to improve tradecraft

Everything the defense acquisition community is doing now is being done to improve its tradecraft, Katrina G. McFarland, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said April 16. McFarland made the comments at the National Defense Industrial Associations National Logistics Forum. Improving tradecraft is something DOD would want to do in the best of times,...
 
 
B1a

B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner An Edwards B-1B Lancer takes off on April 1, 2014, to begin testing its new Sustainment Block 16A software upgrades. The SB 16A software will work in conjunction with the long-range bomberĂ­...
 

 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Smarter spending for Air Force acquisitions

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello briefs attendees April 16, 2014, on how today’s budget environment is driving change for both government and industry as part of the Air Force Associati...
 
 
DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

U.S., Poland defense leaders find new areas for cooperation

DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a press briefing with Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak at the Pentagon, April 17, 2014. Amid deep concerns about...
 




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>