Combat training plays an important role in training new recruits in the Army, Navy and Air force. The ability to obey orders without question and respond instantly to a situation is a key part of combat training and is carried out from the start. Virtual reality is used as part of that training.
Soldiers need to learn about working as part of a team, forming a tight knit unit where each member relies upon the other. They learn to respond to a variety of situations, keeping a cool head and following instructions without question. It is important that they do so or else the unit breaks down and lives are lost unnecessarily.
VR games and combat training
There are a couple of ways VR is used, for example games and large scale virtual environments. Virtual reality games have become increasingly popular over the years and recruits are given these games in order to learn the skills and techniques needed for a combat situation. Plus many recruits are from a generation who are familiar with video games and often play them in their spare time.
These games are also used as part of their induction and as a way of familiarising them with military life. The forces know that today’s generation are au fait with games and technology in general and have harnessed this during recruitment campaigns and the like to sell the idea of a military career.
CAVE fully immersive virtual reality is used to train groups of recruits in combat situations. This type of technology is fully immersive in that the users wear a head mounted display (HMD); data glove/suit and carry VR weapons to become part of that virtual environment. They are able to move and interact with what is going on and make decisions safe in the knowledge that they are in a controlled setting.
This type of set up is also used to train medics in battlefield situations. Medical personnel have to be able to deal with a wide range of injuries caused by exposure to gunfire, unexploded devices, mines etc. One way of training them is to use a multi-platform system – which is also immersive – that enables trainee medics to engage in complex medical situations.