Stealthily enter an Afghan village in the dead of night. Detect and de-arm roadside bombs. Find and destroy IED funding and supply chains. All from the safety of a computer terminal.
The Joint IED Defeat Organization is funding research of a virtual training simulation and computer game based on the online World of Warcraft game.
Virtual military training is gaining in popularity. Its benefits are obvious – no casualties. As the technology advances, the virtual experience is becoming more life like.
Working with the Joint IED Defeat Organization, Matt Kaufman, chief of technology and integration at the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, spoke with American Forces Press Service about EDGE.
“Our goal is to be able to recreate the devices, people and activities in the operational environment as accurately as possible to forces in training,” he said.
In addition to technical training, EDGE will provide full-effect training from accurately representing the path of a bullet to how to address village leaders.
“There is also the noncombatant battle space, the whole notion of how to communicate with elders and clergy and community leaders, build rapport, spot bad guys in a crowd and discern attitudes and how they change,” said Ben Jordan, director of the operational environment lab models and simulations directorate in TRADOC’s Intelligence Support Activity. “These are the kinds of things you can get at.”
While EDGE is still in development, other agencies have started implementing virtual training programs. The Secret Service will begin using 3-D models and gaming technology for agent training.