Soldiers training on VICE
During CNET News.com reporter Daniel Terdiman in Columbus, Ga., where the U.S. Army does its infantry (and soon tank-armored) training. While much of a recruit's introduction to the Army is the same as it has always been--firing ranges, long marches, obstacle courses, and the like--the Army is increasingly utilizing new technologies to help soldiers learn their jobs.
The idea is to teach them some skills--better handling weapons and conditions, for instance--in simulated environments, before they enter the field. And that's bringing the military big savings on ammunition, since, in many cases, soldiers are developing skills using electronic systems that previously required firing live rounds.
Here, a team of soldiers goes through scenario training using a simulator called VICE, or Virtual Interactive Combat Environment, by Dynamic Animation Systems. VICE is designed to immerse soldiers in realistic scenarios in which each of them gets their own station, complete with a large video screen, and they can be led through any number of different situations.
Soldiers control what they do using Xbox-like controllers built into their weapons, and everything that happens is recorded in real time on a computer system that their sergeant can monitor to make sure they're doing what they need to. Afterward, everything about an exercise can be reviewed in minute detail, all of which is helping the recruits who use it be better prepared when they finally get outside, onto real training grounds.
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July 7, 2008 11:20 AM PDT
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com
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