The opportunities reside in knowledge transfer, sharing experiences, preparing for an ever-changing operational environment, and by doing so, increasing soldiers’ survivability and ensuring mission success. The question is: Are we ready to rely on virtual systems in combat?
Marine VR training kit includes a range of virtual and constructive training systems, as well as supporting systems like drones and GPS trackers that enhances the whole continuum of training.
The suite begins with an Interactive Tactical Decision Game, where a small unit leader could be presented with a situation, see the available resources, and start to map out a plan. The Augmented Reality (AR) Sandtable then allows the small unit leader and up to three teammates to view three-dimensional terrain with AR goggles and begin to think through the positions of machine guns In the Virtual Battlespace, where each Marine is represented by an avatar, and the Marines can run through scenarios with as many repetitions as they want.
Once the units are ready to move into live training, a force-on-force training system puts a GPS tracker on each Marine and a laser system on their weapons to track who was where during the training scenario, who hit their target, who was shot and more. That data, supplemented with time-stamped data from drones, Go-Pros and other sources, is imported into the Smart After-Action Review Tool.
Marines in fire-support units now train to coordinate artillery, mortar and naval gunfire from a handy, ruggedized tablet. The Target Handoff System version 2.0 THSv2 allows Marines to quickly establish GPS coordinates for accurate call for fire missions.
"It is a modular equipment suite that provides the warfighter with the capability to quickly and accurately identify and locate targets and transmit that information digitally to fire support systems or weapons platforms.
The Marine Corps has begun making tactical tablets a regular part of Marine kit, such as the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Common Handheld MCH, a system that helps small-unit leaders navigate and disseminate orders, graphics and digital data pertaining to a mission.
BMCH is primarily used for situational awareness on the battlefield, while the THSv2 feeds information to the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System and other fire-support and weapons platforms. The call for fire tablet allows Marine Air-Ground Task Force units to view an updated satellite image of a location's topography, according to the release.
It also "decreases the probability of incorrect data transfer of the initial fire request by providing a digital communication link between the observer and fires platform.
Since its fielding, the THSv2 has been popular with Marines who have used it during live-fire events and other training,
"The system is robust enough to be expanded upon. We're looking to provide the warfighter with the best equipment to engage the enemy faster and more efficiently, and THSv2 does that."
New portable AEGIS virtual mobile platform trainer designed to keep combat watchstanders proficient during extended maintenance availabilities when a ship’s AEGIS suite might be secured for upgrades. It also provides the unique opportunity to train and qualify new watchstanders in preparation for upcoming patrols.
“At CSCS, our primary mission is to train Sailors how to fight and to win. Tactical proficiency requires year-round preparation and the ODT is a portable training tool designed to keep those tactical skills sharp and in turn, improve combat readiness by providing better trained, better qualified Sailors to the fight.”
“While a ship is upgraded, many of its most experienced watchstanders will transfer. We are now looking to exploit those transition years. More upfront opportunities to train as a team like this will deliver a better ship to the Navy and tougher fight to the enemy.”
With six mounted consoles and a pair of large screen displays, the ODT is designed to virtualize the combat suite of today’s cruisers and destroyers. Software applications also allow the ODT to be reconfigured between the various AEGIS baselines and builds of the current surface inventory. As follow-on builds are introduced to the Fleet in continued AEGIS Speed to Capability ASTOC upgrades, those same tactical codes will be installed in the ODT for immediate use.
“This is exactly what the fleet needs. “Our short time in the lab has already proven valuable. Whether you are shaking off rust as a seasoned watchteam or trying to build a new watchteam from the ground up, the ODT is your new venue for proficiency.”
A new Air Force driving simulator is making a big difference for airmen training on specialized vehicles. The chance to use a simulator gets airmen used to handling the vehicle, giving them a leg up on their training.
"It's a great training tool. "It provides the most realistic experience in helping drivers learn how to operate specialized vehicles before operating the real deal."
The state-of-the-art simulator offers training on nearly 30 different vehicles, anything from fire trucks, buses, tractor trailers and military vehicles such as Humvees and MRAPs.
The simulator offers about 150 preset scenarios and can generate nearly any driving condition imaginable, as trainers control variables such as weather, road conditions, visibility and malfunctions.
Three 55-inch screens and surround sound give trainees an interactive experience very similar to real-world driving.
"The biggest thing this will do is get people used to a vehicle before getting in that vehicle.“ Their training will be so much more successful if they have general knowledge of how a vehicle works before actually trying to drive."
Results from field of operations continue to reaffirm the overall effectiveness of virtual reality training, especially in scenarios targeted explicitly at the challenges of delivering construction safety training.
The bottom line is construction safety training is a non-negotiable expense. However, if you can do it at a fraction of the cost and time, and it’s more effective than the alternative, then the business case for VR training becomes overwhelming.
Consider a scenario where worker enters the job trailer, after orientation, he grabs his harness. Giving it a quick once-over he puts it on along with the rest of his safety equipment, like every other day for months.
On his short walk over to the construction elevator.
A quick and sudden jerk brings him back to reality as the elevator abruptly stops and opens to a scaffolding catwalk, three stories up. After a little over a month on this job site, this view is pretty standard stuff. He hooks up his safety line and walks out to where he’s working this morning and gets to it.
A little over thirty minutes into the job, he reaches down for a tool and realizes the platform is giving way under him. Just as what’s happening fully hits him, he tries to grab for something, anything to stop his fall.
Just as he begins to panic, he lurches to a stop. He thinks, “My harness!” Thank you for that.
Today workers are doing fall protection training in a safe, but shockingly realistic, virtual reality training environment. But, the missed fracture in the D-ring on his harness is an oversight that is not likely to ever go missed again.
Our ability to identify and assess risk is acquired through training and experience. In the case of construction workers, this training can be just as dangerous and unforgiving as the actual day-to-day, on-the-job experience. Which is precisely why the benefits of virtual reality training for construction safety is so compelling.
1. Immediate Engagement
Immediate engagement with VR means no distractions. The scenery is so vivid, attractive and engages participation so that every trainee becomes involved 100%. Equally, if one doesn’t move in VR, nothing happens. Therefore, full participation is required. That is how a trainers can develop fast reflexes, attention to details and quick thinking in workers all thanks to VR. In addition to that, that is how a trainee ends up enjoying participation in class.
2. Beats Complexity
Complicated pieces of equipment, processes or systems can be recreated using a number of techniques. This form of VR training allows users to learn about mechanisms and processes that would be physically or logistically difficult to do so in other conditions.
Thanks to VR we can thrive when it comes to complex matters, such as maintenance and engineering. It is known that great results are 20% talent and 80% hard work. A theory is nothing without practice. Also, there is a thin line when it comes to a simple experiment and learning how to operate in the real world that requires state of the art equipment.
Training in virtual reality steps in. It enables many people to gain experience in something usually hard to come by rather easily. VR can simulate nearly impossible and dangerous events and scenarios that cannot be experienced in a normal environment like driving, car mechanics and much more in a completely safe environment. Basically, virtual reality can help create a bigger number of highly skilled professionals in different areas as soon as they step in the classroom.
3. Innovative Technology Solutions
Virtual reality enables the creation of any surrounding. So, workers can learn how to react to different situations and surroundings, including meeting digital avatars from all around the world. Using VR in training can only lead to creating a more innovative technological solution, because only when we are intensively using something we can truly test it and improve it. Therefore, VR can support efforts in creating engaging and better-educated students.
4. Improved Space
You are surrounded by data 360 degrees. That means there is room for more data and one could gain access to even the minutest of details. Virtual reality trainer terminal clearly showcases this advantage. Space is no more a constraint for data visualization.
When it comes to a classroom environment, students often have trouble engaging for long periods of time with limited stimulation. But when the classroom suddenly transforms into actual battlefield scenarios, enthusiasm is inevitable.
A VR environment encourages information retention by offering training fresh, immersive learning opportunities. With customizable sessions, the responses of the teaching module can also evolve as the workers improve and retain.
5. Skills assessment and data collection
How do you assess an workers aptitude for new position in the organisation? How do you evaluate performance based on quantifiable data? Workers introduce a lot of variation during assessment of a candidates performance. Questions can be interpreted differently depending on the person or there might not be sufficient data to properly assess the workers skills.
6. Better way to practice
Lessons are nothing without practice. VR makes a typical traditional experiment into an exciting experience Virtual reality allows workers to experiment with things they don’t have access to or take a usual practical lesson to a new level. Many skills trainees want to master may be potentially dangerous or impossible to conduct in traditional settings. In such cases, the necessary environment can be simulated virtualy like driving or vehicle mechanics. Safe experiences have great educational value as trainees are able to try themselves how everything works and improve their skills.
7. Controlled environment to learn
VR provides a safe and realistic way to train, without the risk of injury or costly damage to expensive equipment. Some immediate use cases which highlight this like where workers can learn how to operate heavy equipment without needing to actually be inside one and firefighters can simulate dealing with fires without putting their lives at risk. Using interactive training techniques that manuals and videos can’t provide, workers can experience, make mistakes and learn through repetition, which is often impossible in the real-world when it puts the organisation at risk.
8. Improve skills faster through experiential learning
VR enhanced training compared to traditional learning tools speeds the development of mastery and expertise through repeated experiential learning that broadly engages multiple learning systems and is scalable. Learning by doing has long been established as one of the most effective ways to improve a skill. When you perform the task over and over again in a realistic setting, you improve that skill much faster than if you just read or watched a video about it.
9. Real Life is Random. Virtual Reality Tools Can Generate That Randomness
We all know that the world is full of random moments. However, when most training is being designed, that kind of unpredictable randomness — interruptions, distractions, weather, changes of all kinds — is marginalized or removed in order to maintain focus on the teaching of core concepts. Unfortunately, when this is done, realism is reduced and training becomes less contextual and relevant to the real world.
We often think we’re basically “stuck” with this less-than-optimal training for a variety of reasons. The two most common challenges in randomizing training are cost and trainee evaluation. In the physical world, it is simply too expensive to build the requisite number of training scenarios. In this same constraining physical world, it’s difficult or impossible for trainers to effectively evaluate trainee performance when there are too many extraneous secondary scenarios and variables.
Once again, virtual reality tools remove those barriers. The best VR training modules are just now introducing randomization of the kind you might experience in a high-quality video game. Randomization ensures you never “teach to the test”, or allow trainees to temporarily memorize “the hard parts” of certain lessons — things they might quickly forget after the completion of their training. What’s more, this randomization comes at no increase in cost and leverages one of the most significant advantages of premium virtual reality training: much of the trainee evaluation is baked into the tool itself.
10. Immersive VR Training Can Reduced Distraction Increase Focus
Keeping people motivated during both online and in-person training sessions can be a challenge. When employees put on a VR headset, the experience captures the learners full attention through both visual and audio stimuli - users are fully immersed in the virtual environment where they can learn distraction free leading to higher retention rates and overall less time spent training.
How many times have you been in a training room and your attention wanders? Thinking about lunch, returning a text message, wondering why you’re covering this again, just waiting for it to end and filling your energy with other things are only a few examples of all-too-human distractions that can degrade the training process. Sitting in a classroom or even waiting in line for your turn on the platform are all limitations of the physical training environment; restrictions that allow for trainees to lose focus and miss critical points of instruction.
Virtual reality has the advantage of being fully immersive. Because VR training strives to fully replicate the physical world and all of the disparate elements in that real-world, you have to stay on your toes at all times. And while, depending on the supply of hardware, some trainees may have to wait to get into a VR headset, others can follow along, watching their journey and lesson unfold from a first-person perspective on a nearby HD screen, turning passive waiting into active learning.
This realistic and immersive training environment helps trainees maintain their attention and concentration on each training task posed to them.