Why Military Simulation and Training?
MS&T magazine exists to report on best practices, news, technology development and the deployment of defense training and training devices.
As with all users of simulation in high value sectors, the military uses simulation where the cost or risk of using real equipment is too high. For the military both cost and risks are frequently too high in training and mission rehearsal.
Historical users of simulation in the military have been the air forces with training devices being delivered for the earliest flying machines. Over the past 20 years the use of simulation in defense has become ubiquitous and hyper realistic or high fidelity.
Air forces not only learn to fly, they practice combat flying and mission rehearsal often networking simulators to practice missions with other aircraft and ground assets while ground based maintainers, air traffic controllers and emergency personnel use simulation to develop and test skills. This extends to those who fly unmanned missions.
Land forces develop driving, shooting and tactical skills with, laser based systems used for combat practice. Equipment maintenance is also usually learned on a simulator while at sea, or in port, above or below the surface, ship systems can be simulated to train weapon systems operators damage controllers and navigators amongst others.
With the development costs of major weapon systems at the level they are today, simulation is commonly used in design and development phases, reducing the need for costly prototypes and hazardous testing. It is also used throughout the procurement and lifecycle phases to accurately assess capability and plan the next refurbishment.
Training, while making use of increasingly sophisticated devices, has also come under scrutiny with the desire to reduce the wear and tear on major platforms or the risk of damage to them and thus a continual move from the live platform to the simulator is underway.
In critical areas like medicine, culture and language, logistics, security and special forces training, web delivered distributed training, anywhere, anytime, has become common and the military can also claim to have led in the development of games for training, so called “serious games.”
As the military spend all their time (when not in action) undergoing training, their ability to train and rehearse with tremendous effectiveness has made the difference between success and failure in recent conflicts, and has saved the lives of thousands of service men and women.