Virtual reality

News DVIDS – NEWS – Virtual reality could be the future of naval training

The future is here, and it’s virtual. In a world of rapidly advancing technology, the U.S. Navy must keep pace. One way to keep up with the times is to enhance the Navy’s training methods with the latest technology. The mission of Afloat Training Group Pacific (ATGPac) is to make the fleet mission ready, and they are exploring the technology landscape to do just that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 ATGPac revealed a new virtual reality fire training system that enables sailors to fight simulated fires in a safe and cost-effective manner, answering the need for more modern training methods.

“We learned in training that today’s sailors prefer to be trained in a very different way than our sailors of the late 1980s and 90s,” said ATGPac Brigadier General Christopher Flynn. “Today’s sailors are far more technologically advanced and our current training methods are outdated. ‘Getting real – getting better’ shows that we need advanced training methods to narrow down our best and worst gap. Advanced fighters need advanced training capabilities.”

The new technology includes goggles that simulate more than 70 environments, including naval ships and shipyards, vests that can heat up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit when sailors approach simulated fire, and an attached hose that pulls sailors back , to simulate firepower water flowing out in different spray patterns.

The Navy’s current training methodology involves using color-coded flags for sailors to identify the level of fire they are fighting; electrical, gasoline or wood, and the current status of the fire; lit or unlit.
Sailors who tried the system were impressed with the accuracy of the simulation and said it felt more realistic than their current training methods.

“We still have a place for field flag training right now, but that’s in the future,” said Hunter Dillow, Hull Technician Class 3. “It’s much more immersive and much better than just using the flag and your imagination because of the heat from the vest and the smoke and you can use all the different situations for different casualties.”

Firefighting is an important part of naval training, preparing sailors for a variety of situations that may arise at sea. Follin believes, however, that such virtual experiences could be a valuable alternative to keeping muscle memory fresh for sailors who can’t attend training on the school premises.
While not yet a Navy-wide standard, such training has the potential to become a more routine part of shipboard training.

“We are introducing this type of training as a pilot to see if it works across the fleet,” Follin said. “ATGPac intends to utilize the system in every offshore training organization as a damage control fire brigade in the basic phase, damage control industry training and supplemental training tools as required by any vessel or federal fire department that wishes to have additional training opportunities. This initiative is just one of the measures that ATG Pacific will be piloting to keep our sailors proficient during maintenance.”

Afloat Training Group Pacific’s mission is to provide education, training and assessment to surface ships, including the US Coast Guard, to maximize training efficiency and effectiveness, and they are doing just that while advancing the Navy with the latest technology and training methodologies .

Shooting date: 01.18.2023
release date: 01.26.2023 15:44
Story number: 437307
Place: San Diego, California, United States

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