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Training Hits the Virtual Target

June 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Army is leveraging the latest advances in computing power and digital hardware to expand and improve training using virtual reality technology. Whether it is teaching soldiers how to exit an overturned vehicle safely; reinforcing lessons learned in ground patrol training; or even helping returning warriors cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, virtual reality simulations are enabling the Army to train more effectively and economically.

Virtual Humans Keep It Real

June 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

U.S. Army soldiers have something in common with Superman and Spider-Man: they all benefit from Army-funded virtual reality research being conducted at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. The Oscar-winning research has made digital characters look more realistic in movies such as Avatar, Spider-Man II and Superman Returns, among others, and it also helps soldiers cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. It also is used to train service members for a variety of missions and situations, including countering both improvised explosive devices and insurgency operations, as well as tactical intelligence gathering. The institute’s research, which rapidly is taking the “virtual” out of virtual reality, also helps teach soldiers such traits as leadership, cultural awareness and relationship building.

Lockheed Martin to Supply Gunnery Trainers to Saudi Arabia

March 16, 2011
By George Seffers

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Orlando, Florida, was recently awarded a nearly $32 million contract to provide for the acquisition of four Mobile Advanced Gunnery Training Systems and eight Deployable Advanced Gunnery Training Systems, with new-equipment training and logistics support, for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Program Executive Office of Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity.

Pragmatics Awarded Potential $100 Million Digital Training Contract

January 31, 2011
By George Seffers

Pragmatics recently announced the award by the U.S. Army of a task order potentially valued at approximately $100 million. The award was made under the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2 Services (ITES-2S) contract for technology insertion in the Training and Doctrine Command Enterprise Classroom Program. Pragmatics will provide modernized instructional technology to support digital training in Army proponent classrooms for warfighters and Defense Department civilians. The Pragmatics team will survey, engineer, design, integrate systems, procure, stage, install, and test technology at classroom sites on Army installations across the country.

CACI to Train Mobilizing Soldiers

January 7, 2011
By George Seffers

CACI Incorporated, Chantilly, Virginia, was recently awarded an $8 million contract to provide simulation-supported battle command staff training exercises for pre- and post-mobilizing soldiers. The U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is the contracting activity.

Cubic Awarded Simulation Center Support Contract

November 5, 2010
By George Seffers

Cubic Applications Incorporated (CAI) has been awarded a five-year contract with a potential value close to $35 million to provide simulation and network services to support battle simulations and battle command systems for the Joint Multinational Simulation Center (JMSC) located at Grafenwöhr, Germany, and five other European sites. The JMSC is an element of the Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC), the training command of U.S. Army Europe. The JMTC is the largest training command outside the continental United States. JMTC range and maneuver complexes, simulation centers, classrooms and facilities provide realistic and relevant training to U.S. Army, Joint Service, NATO, and allied units and leaders.

Priorities in the Cyber Domain

February 2, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor

"Ignorance is our biggest vulnerability [in the cyber domain]." --Vice Adm. Carl Mauney, USN, deputy CO, STRATCOM

Controlling Cybernetic Crowds

December 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Future virtual training environments may provide soldiers with computer-generated opponents who realistically portray anger, fear and fatigue. Researchers are adding human behavioral and cultural data to software to accurately depict crowd and adversary reactions. By introducing these layers of authenticity, scientists hope to enrich the quality of the learning experience that simulation systems offer.

Advanced Distributed Learning Reaches Maturity

December 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. Defense Department has developed a software standard that permits organizations to write and share online courses and learning material. Representing the combined efforts of government, industry and academia, the guidelines are part of a larger program that seeks to provide federal personnel with high-quality training delivered any time, anywhere.

Learning the Joint Mindset

December 2002
By Maryann Lawlor

While all of the services continue to transform the ways they operate, one of the armed forces' primary institutions for advanced education is leading the way to joint transformation. In recently renovated, technologically advanced classrooms, students delve into the challenges the military faces today to discover innovative joint approaches to tomorrow's problems.


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