Virtual training similar to video games, but realistic, soldiers say

Soldiers train on STE protoypes Thursday at Fort Riley.

Members of the Army’s Synthetic Training Environment Cross Function Team (STE) provided soldiers with an opportunity to test prototype trainers and offer feedback during an assessment on Fort Riley Thursday.

The soldiers assessed a prototype Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer-Ground (RVCT-G), which is modern virtual training software that mimics the Army’s range of wheeled and armored platforms. When in use, it will allow formations to train from squad to battalion levels in a realistic and virtual atmosphere.

Developers of the prototype work to replicate the range of the vehicles. The assessment conducted by the soldiers provided a valuable insight for developers who want to make the program as real as possible in order to adequately train soldiers in numerous combat situations. The intent of the prototype is for it to be as realistic as possible so soldiers who train on the program can build muscle memory within the machines they operate. 

Assistant Project Manager William Sanchez said the more soldiers train, the more they learn how to keep soldiers safe. 

Input from soldiers training indicate it is similar to playing video games, yet realistic. Soldiers were asked to put on a virtual reality eyepiece that visually places them in a ground vehicle they are accustomed to. Spectators watched as soldiers were presented with scenarios to see how they would react. 

“Requirements are changing every day,” Sanchez said. “We are using gaming technology to develop the prototype, and we get feedback on a daily basis. It will only continue to get better with time.” 

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