Florida is probably most well-known for its beaches and theme parks, which have some of the most sophisticated virtual reality attractions in the world. What most people don’t realize, however, is the same technology that is used to entertain millions every year is also used to train the U.S. military.
In a recent story in RecordNet, the combination of the state’s video-game development market (Forbes ranks it #6 in the nation) and the state’s high-tech corridor supports a growing community of experts who are tapping into entertainment to transform military training.
In fact, Orlando has the “country’s largest cluster of training and simulation companies and agencies, including Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman Corp., General Dynamics Corp. and Honeywell International, as well as a host of military organizations.”
This is particularly important to support the growing adoption of live, virtual, constructive (LVC) by the U.S. military and others around the world. As we have heard from Wes Naylor, former Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Training Systems Division, a Modern Military Training contributor, LVC is increasingly important because, with it, you can train on “short order for whatever contingency you want before you get there.” It also offers great amounts of flexibility and lowers costs.
According to the story, “. . . combining entertainment and the defense industry equates to big business,” and Camp Blanding is home to the Military Operation in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Collective Training Facility, which creates “hyper-realistic” battle scenarios in a variety of settings to help prepare U.S. troops for similar situations before they are deployed.
As Lt. General Tom Baptiste, USAF (ret.) and president and CEO of the National Center for Simulation, shared with the reporter, “Virtual world technology allows us to immerse a single soldier or groups of soldiers in a setting that replicates a combat environment and allows them to practice their tactics, techniques, and procedures in a space no bigger than a classroom.”
The Florida LVC and simulation industry in Florida has “revolutionized the military’s readiness and effectiveness,” and its developments have been shared across the nation to prepare almost every U.S. soldier pre-deployment.