Military Eyes Wearable Simulators, Training Gear

By Allyson Versprille
 ORLANDO — Military officials are asking the private sector to develop more wearable, mobile simulation and training devices. “Instead of going to a place to get your simulation and live, virtual, constructive [training], it comes to you and you wear the device,” said Maj. Gen. James Lukeman, commanding general of the Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command Dec. 1.
The need to miniaturize and ruggedize simulators so troops can train on the go was a theme during a general/flag officer panel at the 2015 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference.
Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, commander of Naval Air Systems Command, said the Navy is looking for those systems to be reconfigurable. The service needs simulation devices that can be taken from a training or classroom environment and deployed on an amphibious ship, Grosklags said. “I’ve got sailors who run the ship; I’ve got Marines who are getting ready to get on the beach; I’ve got Marines who are flying helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft; I’ve got Marines who are maintaining those aircraft. I can’t bring different training systems, simulations for every single one of those.”
Frank DiGiovanni, director of force readiness and training at the Defense Department, noted that having mobile capabilities for training against cyber threats is also an area of growing demand.
“Where is the backyard training capability for cyber?” he asked. The services need devices that they can use on a daily basis to practice cyber operations instead of having to travel to large, expensive facilities every time, he said.
Another item on the wish list is what DiGiovanni called a “transparent, wearable tutor.”
The Office of Naval Research is currently working on a program called PAL3, or personal assistant for life-long learning.
Rear Adm. Mathias Winter, the chief of naval research, said PAL3 will be “a mobile assistant that tracks and understands who you are.”   
The system will be able to look at a service member’s training activities and see what technical problems or challenges he or she is consistently having to review, he said. “It will shift and understand that you are not getting it.”
To go one step further, “it will be able to not only tell you that you’re not getting it, but it will be able to draw on virtual resources to help craft a better learning curriculum and learning engagement in real time over the life of the sailor and Marine,” he said.
PAL3 is in development and there is a lot of work that needs to be done before it can be delivered to service members, he said. ONR is focused on software engineering and developing data frameworks and architectures, Winter said.
DiGiovanni noted that such systems should be able to leverage drone videos and images, tap into various Internet sources and take advantage of information from a user’s social networks in order to provide unique and effective training solutions. This is where the future capability for digital tutoring is headed, he said.

Topics: Simulation Modeling Wargaming and Training, ComputerBased Training, Live Training

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