Virtual Reality transforming traditional Military Training

Training is one of the most essential steps to fulfill the roles & responsibilities in any job. Some jobs need standard procedures of workflow to be learned during the training, like in a food chain. While, some need intensive & profound knowledge about the environment, tools & machines involved, like in military training. 

Virtual Reality in Military Training

Military training is one of the most vigorous exercises among all. It involves all the bulky and expensive machines and armors. It requires quite a lot of time to train for all the possible scenarios. And the most crucial point is the implied risk of life during the training. In all the three areas of defense, i.e., Air Force, Navy & Army, characteristics are the same for VR training. Hence, defense & military training needs a feasible & reliable solution. There is an urgent need for an alternative that helps in reducing the cost of training & the risk involved without altering the training quality .

Thinking of a solution, technology is something that has brought modifications in many practices in various areas of operation. In the field of training, technology like VR has evolved to a level where it has become an answer to almost all problems. Transformational changes have occurred in training with the introduction of VR into it. VR provides an immersive simulation of real training environment with a head-mounted display along with data gloves & hardware, which help in delivering actual training experience. The simulated virtual display involves the brain actively & the real like simulations keep the trainee engaged & concentrated, further which enhances the quality of virtual training.

But why would military switch from traditional training to Virtual Reality training? How will it help defense to train their soldier for the worst?

The question is if VR training will cope with the conventional form of military training where the soldiers are trained with real weapons, on real armors & vehicles. The point, which makes Virtual Reality training effective than the traditional methods, is its ability to create a real like virtual training environment (with the help of sensory organs & limbs). There are both physical as well as mental aspects of this training. For military training, the modules are designed with all emergency cases, attacks, wars kept in mind, which help to prepare the soldier for unaware risks & emergencies. Physical response with artificial limbs helps in creating a cognitive memory for reflex actions for post-training use. VR helps different segments of the military in 4 different ways. Following are the uses of VR training in defense:

•    Flight simulation- in Airforce training

•    Battlefield simulation- in Army training

•    Armored vehicle simulation- in Navy training

•    Virtual boot camp- in all Military training

Flight Simulation:

Virtual Reality is extensively used by the air force to train their pilots to operate the sophisticated fighter jets & other planes during their defense service. Since there are many other factors like stress, anxiety & situational risks, involved in training for defense apart from the complexity of the machines & equipment, it is very important to provide an interactive module for both the trainer & trainee. VR allows the trainee to operate fighter jet in a virtual environment. The VR training module is loaded with different emergency situations & risks to train the trainee for all the possible real-life risks & dangers.

Battlefield Simulation:

Virtual Reality provides a real-time war experience with all possible vulnerabilities that help in preparing for combats. When exposed to real like war field with VR, the brain begins to react the way it would have during an actual war & the trainee develops a muscle memory of all the dangers that he faces during that virtual war. This helps to make better & faster decisions with reduced reaction time in battlefield.

Armored Vehicle Simulation: 

Naval Artillery training includes weapons like submarine deck guns, naval guns, and torpedo. The training modules are designed in VR keeping in mind the respective environment of their operations, to use in training. This helps in preparing the soldiers mentally for survival, like underwater in submarines or using the weapons without panicking. VR training prevents on-training loss of lives by ensuring all the extreme practices in virtually.

Virtual Boot Camp: 

Boot camp training is the first step for preparing a civilian as a defense serviceman. It includes intense mental & physical exercise which again involves risk of health & life of the trainee. Since the aim of boot camp training is to groom the individual for survival in the extreme conditions & to strengthen the brain for decision making in stress. Bringing in all the situations into the virtual world & executing it to the trainee as a real situation helps in mentoring the new militants for survival without actually risking their lives. This virtual training helps to inculcate the required skills to last longer in the field. Virtual training allows the militant to develop resilience & perseverance, which are the most essential skills to remain in the army. Once faced all the extreme situations virtually, the militant extends cognition for the condition and when exposed to real-life problems, uses it. Once the soldier is prepared, he can go into real environment & test the learnings there with lesser risk factor.

VR training helps to train the militants for the worst by giving their brain experience of the actual problem & stress, which drives reflex action to the situation.

The unique feature of this type of technology-driven training is safety & low-cost. This potential is recognized by countries all over the world & incorporated in training practices. It has revolutionized the conventional methods of intensive training & will soon expand to other exercises as well.