In a warehouse looking much like a laser tag game room, nine soldiers gear up with flip down goggle mounts, sensors strapped to their arms and legs and carry a computer-enhanced weapon system.
Just five years ago, this scenario may have only been seen in a video game. Today, virtual training environments are a reality.
The Dismounted Soldier Training System and Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 are two virtual training tools that are quickly becoming the norm for soldiers of the 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, in training deploying units at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.
“One of the best parts of the DSTS is that we can create any operational environment, for our training in a virtual environment. It does not replace training, but it can add to it. We can bring the terrain of Afghanistan to the soldier. It’s hard to imagine a mountainous terrain in Indiana, but the DSTS can create it,” said Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Hammond, Operations, 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East.
Hammond and his team recently participated in a DSTS session to learn the capabilities offered at CAJMTC virtual simulation centers. Geared up and ready to engage in a building entry exercise, the nine-man squad immediately encountered and reacted to enemy fire.
With one member quickly disabled, the team must quickly adjust tactics, techniques, and procedures, and continue their mission.