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Simulators, live training play big role in program

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 4:30 am

Simulators and live training play a big part in the Army’s new Integrated Training Environment.

They are among the many tools that go into the training method currently being tested at Fort Hood. Other tools include ranges, scenarios, training complexes and more.

As part of the live training, soldiers use the Homestation Instrumentation Training System. It’s part of a high-tech laser tag system attached to soldiers and their weapons.

The system is a huge training tool, especially for infantrymen, said 1st Lt. Charles Foy, an infantry squad leader with 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, who led a squad of troops in a live exercise demonstrating the Integrated Training Environment last week.

After the mission, in which his squad killed two enemy combatants, Foy is able to see a computer-screen replay of the battle, with various statistics including number of rounds fired and “who shot who.”

That kind of training and knowledge is good for soldiers, who are excited to see the details of the encounter.

Bob Cohen, a live-training expert, said the HITS technology allows trainers to put the scenario on a CD just 30 minutes after a battle. Leaders can take that CD and train their soldiers on it later.

Simulators are also a big part of the Integrated Training Environment.

Lt. Col. Duke Samouce, a virtual training expert based at Fort Leavenworth, guided a group of reporters through several helicopter simulators at Fort Hood last week.

Flying live training missions in helicopters can be costly and dangerous, but with simulators, there is no fuel cost — other than electricity — and there is no danger of a crash, he said.

And the simulators get pilots prepared for those real flying missions, Samouce said.

“When they get to the live training, they are more proficient with everything they’ve learned in the virtual world,” he said.

When combined with Integrated Training Environment, live training and simulator training can be combined into single battle scenarios, offering an in-depth training environment that the Army will likely see more of in the years ahead.

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