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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.
The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.
While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.
A Navy spokesman said there is no connection between any of the five officers relieved of command, adding that each relief is looked at separately.
'We are a people organization' — Army leaders push renewed focus on soldiers amid rise in sexual assaults and suicides
After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."
Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.
A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.
Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.
At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's paramilitary groups on Wednesday blamed a series of recent blasts at their weapons depots and bases on the United States and Israel.
The statement from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella grouping of Iraq's mostly Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary groups, many of which are backed by Iran, said the United States had allowed four Israeli drones to enter the region accompanying U.S. forces and carry out missions on Iraqi territory.