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Synthetic Environment Will Change How Soldiers Train

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U.S. Army
Monday, May 20, 2019

The Army is working to transform the way soldiers train for combat—without leaving their barracks.

Creating an immersive and realistic synthetic training environment for soldiers is one of the Army’s top modernization priorities, with a cross-functional team dedicated to that purpose since 2017. The team is making good progress as the virtual and gaming industry continues to grow and advance.

“This is cutting-edge technology,” said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville. “It is going to transform the way we train soldiers and the way soldiers operate in combat.”

During testimony on Capitol Hill, McConville equated the synthetic training environment to virtual reality training, and said it is designed to complement real-world training in the field.

“What it’s going to allow our soldiers to do is go into virtual reality and train on a mission that they’re about ready to accomplish,” he said.

A virtual training environment allows soldiers and units to run 30 to 40 repetitions of that actual mission, giving them time and space to practice, McConville said.

“They can hit the sled a whole bunch of times, and then they can actually take the same equipment we’re developing and go and execute the mission,” he said.