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‘Holodeck’ Troop Training on Army’s Wish List 

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By Sandra I. Erwin 

The Army’s newly published training manual champions the use of high-tech simulations as a means to improve soldiers’ skills across a wide range of missions. The service already owns thousands of simulators but the Army would like to move to the next generation of technology — a Star Trek holodeck-like system that combines live and computer-generated scenarios into a single picture.

“The Army wants to leverage technology to train across the spectrum,” said Col. Gary Brown, director of combat training. One potential hiccup in the plan is the cost. “It’s a huge bill,” he told reporters at a recent Association of the U.S. Army conference. The challenge for Brown: to convince the budget meisters that this is a worthwhile expenditure.

But even if the Army agreed to fund new simulators, that is just one portion of the bill, Brown said.

“You have to maintain the technology and improve it,” he said. “That’s a lesson we’re learning every day.” Technology changes quickly and the simulators are not effective if they don’t have the most up-to-date software and models.
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