A unique exchange program permits government and private sector organizations to exchange high-tech workers. The goal of the Information Technology Exchange Program (ITEP) is to provide both sectors with an opportunity to share best practices and to better understand each other’s operating practices and hurdles.
The U.S. Air Force is preparing to defend national airspace against a variety of airborne terrorist threats such as hijacking and missile attacks. To achieve this goal, the service has modified its training and simulation software toolkit to model the crowded skies over the United States. This new capability also permits Air Force commands to train jointly with federal and state law enforcement and civil aviation agencies and to simulate operating in a network-centric communications and sensor environment.
The increased operational tempo for special operations forces over recent years has mandated a new training plan for their aircrew. In an effort to transition fully qualified crew members to the field faster and to accommodate upcoming airframe changes, various agencies have come together to fund and update a major U.S. Air Force instruction program.
The creation of virtual worlds and robots is spiraling out from the military into a broad array of applications. While the defense community continues to advance its technology to offer better instruction and to improve the safety of troops, other fields of interest—ranging from the technical to the personal—are beginning to use similar tools to meet their needs.
A new world is emerging from cyberspace as U.S. Army simulations draw from innovative technologies coming out of the private sector. These advances are allowing planners to build simulations that can model causes and effects of asymmetric warfare similar to what troops are experiencing in Southwest Asia.
Advancements in human modeling soon could improve how military troops train and prepare for missions as well as enhance leaders' abilities to predict how foreign cultures will react to their actions. Scientists and researchers from the military, private industry and academia are examining how to depict accurately human reactions from a variety of cultures, how to store this information in a database to make it accessible for new developments and how to keep costs and time lines reasonable. Many experts in the human modeling field expect major enhancements and new uses in the next few years.
Advanced software tools and simulators are allowing hundreds of U.S. Air Force personnel to train together in cyberspace. The agency responsible for managing these electronic events also maintains interoperability standards for automated training applications and integrates the latest technologies into its models and simulations.
Soldiers are receiving better and more convenient simulated training as developers work to increase the scalability and accessibility of their products. Troops are benefiting from training tools they can load onto personal laptops and take anywhere instead of being forced to visit a major simulation facility. The result is that warfighters no longer have to leave a mission to conduct a simulation or to wait for simulation centers to have an opening on their calendar.
A ship sailing inside a building, a periscope view on a PC and F-18 pilots located thousands of miles apart yet flying in formation are just some of the new teaching tools simulators now are enabling for the U.S. Navy. Computing advances and that touch of illusion that only the entertainment industry can create immerse both new and experienced sailors in virtual environments that suspend reality and convince them that what they see, smell, hear and feel truly surrounds them. The opportunities these capabilities offer are melding the Navy's training and operational environments and shrinking the time from learning to doing.
Scientists in the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research are developing new virtual reality simulations that address the needs of land-based warriors such as U.S. Marines. These simulations seek to reproduce various motions and scenarios as faithfully as battlefield conditions.