MTSN - Training/Simulation

I/ITSEC 2019: Booz Allen Hamilton points to metrics as key VR training benefit

2nd December 2019 - 21:28 GMT | by Richard Thomas in Orlando

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With personnel training pipelines over capacity the need for militaries, particularly those with significant numbers of personnel, to ensure improved training capabilities has led to the adoption of virtual reality (VR) for both initial programme and circumstance specific requirements.

Exhibiting a range of its solutions to the wider military and industrial community in Orlando, Booz Allen Hamilton showcased two solutions specific to counter-IED and EOD training. The US Navy is known to utilise the EOD training solution in San Diego.

Officials from Booz Allen Hamilton said that the solutions worked to provide early-stage initial training for mine detection operations using real-world equipment modified with digital hardware that enabled it into interact in a VR environment.

In particular, the system on-site enabled key metrics such as the movement tracking of the CEIA combat metal detector, which was an actual example that had been used by the US military and used to refine procedures and skills potentially more effectively than real-world alternatives would be able to.

While on operations, parameters such as detector height from the ground and speed of movement are crucial to the systems ability to detect suspicious material.

However, many militaries still choose to focus much of their training on real-world programmes where key skills such as C-EID and EOD are required. In particular, the UK MoD continues to rely on real-world scenarios to aid its EOD training programme.

However, officials told Shephard that virtual EOD or C-IED training ‘was not intended to replace the real thing’ rather serving to ‘supplement’ existing capabilities.

Further, with VR there was the possibility of creating dynamic environments on demand to provide personnel with a greater variety of training conditions than might otherwise be available in a single real-world location.

The EOD training solution meanwhile uses a VR scenario outside of a chemical weapons lab to train technicians for the disarming, rendering safe and disposing of chemical weapons in a life-like hostile environment. 

Regarding the chemical disposal training, the ability to rapidly programme a training environment and not have to rely on the use of accurate props provided a practical advantage compared to real-world options as well as significant cost savings, according to company officials.

Other simulated and VR training solutions on display include RC-135 egress application, U2 Dragon Lady preflight scenario and a Tactical Application Scenario Creator, among others.

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