The Front Blog

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Virtual Battle Space 2 at Fort Campbell

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Fort Campbell recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Virtual Battle Space 2 training facility. The building was opened after a year of development and increases Fort Campbell’s ability to train soldiers on tactics and procedures. Around 100 soldiers (a company) can log-in to the VBS2 game at once now.

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Virtual Team Chief Adam Williams said that the main advantage of using video games to train soldiers is efficiency. “We only have so much space for training out in the field. And training’s expensive with fuel costs, ammo,” he said. Because of space and seasonal limitations, a unit typically books only 3 days of field training at a time.  If they’ve already learned the standard operating procedures on a video game, troops won’t waste time in the real-world drill. At least, that’s how it goes in the best case scenario.

Williams said in the days before video games, soldiers did basic rock drills. “You’d have a sand table set up,” he explained, “And you can get a whole bunch of matchbox cars, and pull things around a sand table and practice it that way, or stand there with three by five cards.” The army pays homage to those days with a sand-table filled with plastic  army men in one corner of the facility.

VBS2 is not available for retail, but the military offers other games to the public. America’s Army has been an educational and recruitment tool since the early 2000’s.

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Written by Angela Hatton

April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm

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