FLNG looks at virtual training options for Camp Blanding Joint Training Center

Written by  //  September 12, 2011  //  Feature Stories, News

ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2011) – A trip through the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) in Orlando, Fla., shows the future of military training for Active and Reserve component service members. Housed in research buildings on the University of Central Florida campus, engineers and researchers are making simulated training more realistic and using the latest technology to produce cost-effective virtual training that can be distributed to service members around the world.

Maj. Gen. Emmett R. Titshaw, the Adjutant General of Florida, observes Soldiers demonstrating the Dismounted Soldier Training System at the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation in Orlando, Sept. 9, 2011. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Blair Heusdens

Maj. Gen. Emmett R. Titshaw, the Adjutant General of Florida, visited the office recently to see which training capabilities could be installed at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center to improve the training available to Active, Guard and Reserve service members throughout the region.

Camp Blanding Joint Training Center already houses several training simulators in what is called the “simulation block,” including the Engagement Skills Trainer, Warrior Skills Trainer, Virtual Convoy Trainer, Firearms Training System, Virtual Battlespace 2, Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer and the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected –Vehicle Virtual Trainer. This training is available for military or civilian law enforcement agencies throughout the region.

Because of its proximity to the Orlando facility, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center provides a convenient facility for PEO STRI to test and receive feedback about its training equipment. The Florida National Guard also has several Guardsmen who work full-time at the facility, helping to develop new and better training for the U.S. military.

Virtual training has several advantages to live training. Using virtual training is safer and can lead to less injuries. It can also save time because the training doesn’t need to be reset each time. Virtual training is more cost effective, reducing the amount of ammunition, targets and ranges required.

But even those who support virtual training say it should never completely replace live training. A combination of live training and virtual training can be an effective solution to balance the need for realistic training and the need to reduce costs. By completing virtual training prior to live training, Soldiers can go into live training feeling more comfortable with the procedures and able to perform more effectively.

Providing several high-tech training alternatives at Camp Blanding Training Center is one of the ways the Florida National Guard is looking at building and improving the Camp Blanding of the future.