US Army Launches Virtual Air Defense Training Facility

The US Army has opened a virtual reality simulator for air defense soldier training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

The Integrated Moving Target Simulator — known as the Stinger Training Dome — provides a “360-degree virtual reality battlefield environment,” including ground vehicles and visual aircraft recognition for air-defense systems trainees.

Greater Clarity in Seeing Targets

Commander Col. Cory Berg of the Program Executive Office of simulation training and instrumentation explained that the “new dome offers a tremendous capability to train soldiers and greater definition to see the targets we’re looking at and to distinguish between friendly and foe aircraft.”

“There’s a brand new chandelier that’s inside with 14 projectors with the capability they put in there with our partner Blue Halo to provide great dome interaction which allows two Stinger teams to train at the same time.”

The Stinger team of gunners identifies friendly or foe aircraft before deciding whether to fire the Stinger Missile in the Stinger Training Dome, Oct. 12, 2021, at Patterson Hall after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly rebuilt training dome. Image: Monica Wood/ US Army

Adjustable Battle Scenarios

Commander Col. William Parker of the 30th ADA (Air Defense Artillery) Brigade remarked that the facility’s improved graphics provide “better visual recognition for enemy flight threats as well as to protect friendly assets,” he added that the “rebuilt” facility allows the instructors to “adjust” the battle background from desert to forest to an urban environment, providing unprecedented experience for trainees. Moreover, the higher fidelity aircraft models provide realistic training sessions in a 360-degree display area.

The virtual training facility also provides more affordable training than live-fire sessions, which include time restrictions and expenditure on live munitions.

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