Shane Reynolds, UCF Research Associate demonstrates an AR/VR system to train soldiers and Marines on how to improve their ability to detect improvised explosive devices. (Orlando Sentinel/Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda)
As UCF research associate Shane Reynolds guides his avatar over a virtual minefield using his iPad, small beeps and whistles reveal the location of the scourge of the modern war zone: Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. He must take his time to sweep every last inch of the playing field to make sure his character doesn't miss any of the often-deadly bombs.
Despite his slow pace, Reynolds makes a small misstep and with a kaboom! a bomb blows up his player, graphically scattering body parts.
The Army is working to improve its small arms training to better simulate combat by having soldiers engage several targets at once, grab magazines from their pack to reload, and fix weapons malfunctions while on the range, the service recently announced.
"It's exactly what we would do in a combat environment, and I think it's just going to build a much better shooter," Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Fortenberry, the senior enlisted leader at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, tasked with overseeing the Army's efforts to update marksmanship training for the first time in decades.
The Trump administration is considering sheltering unaccompanied immigrant children apprehended along the southwest border at Fort Benning, the sprawling Columbus-area military installation, according to the Pentagon and U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
It is unknown how many children could be housed there and for how long. But Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services in April for the Pentagon to find space for up to 5,000 at military bases.
Junior leaders have long complained that it has become increasingly difficult to prepare new infantry soldiers for deployment. Now the Army is making sure that soldiers are in better shape and more disciplined by the time they arrive at their first infantry units.