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The Air Force Used VR To Train Pilots In Half The Time At A Fraction Of The Cost
The U.S. Air Force trained and certified 13 pilots with virtual reality headsets in less than half the normal training time and at a fraction of the cost, according to Stephen Losey of Air Force Times.
The service's inaugural class of Pilot Training Next began in April with 30 students. After four months of training with VR headsets — in place of traditional multi-million dollar simulators — along with artificial intelligence and advanced biometrics, just over a dozen students earned their wings.
The normal training pipeline typically takes about a year.
Officials told Air Force Times the program isn't meant to replace its traditional pilot training program. Still, the results are game-changing: Student pilots can put on an HTC Vive headset that immerses them inside a cockpit for just $1,000 per unit, compared to $4.5 million for a legacy simulator.
The Vive headsets can also be configured to bring the students right into practicing a certain maneuver, or they can be linked up with the other 20 students at the same time so they can train and fly together in virtual reality. The VR sims also use biometrics such as heart monitors and pupil measurement to register whether the students are truly learning — which traditional simulators cannot do.
And instead of spending millions of dollars and doing a complicated reconfiguration of one cockpit to another, it takes "about 10 seconds" for the VR sim to be changed from a T-6 trainer to an F-22 or whatever aircraft is desired, according to an Air Force TV report.
The Air Force can also capture a real student flight and then bring it into the VR simulator, allowing students to retrace their steps and learn where they can improve.
“We believe that pilot training can be done faster, better and cheaper,” Capt. Jeff Kelley, a T-6 Texan II instructor, told Stars & Stripes.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.
On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the five-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.
A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).
But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.