Members of 7th Combat Service Support Battalion have been able to put young soldiers’ computer skills to good use, using a battle simulation system (BSS) to train drivers how to safely operate protected mobility vehicles in an artificial environment.
Building on virtual reality tech – which has been the main focus of a recent thrust towards streamlining the ADF's learning platforms – battalion personnel were able to train for the complexities of operating in the Middle East, from the safety of Brisbane's Gallipoli Barracks.
These range from pedestrians, animals, enemy forces and the possibility of encountering an improvised explosive device (IED). Planned upgrades to the existing system will see the current driver simulator refurbished, in order to run training for the Bushmaster, HX77 trucks, and the Hawkei vehicles.
The BSS provides the battalion with a means to visualise logistical patrols, conduct drills, practice intra-vehicle communications and respond to orders.
The simulators also deliver cost savings on operating heavy military vehicles and allow for the replay of events for enhanced learning.
Corporal John Goodwin said the system had great advantages.
“While there’s no substitute for real driving, it makes people visualise their training in a realistic scenario so they can practice their communication between vehicles and hone their drills,” CPL Goodwin said.
“It also eliminates all the admin work of booking a range – being in the heart of Brisbane we don’t have immediate access to large training areas.”
He highlighted the positive reaction from the new generation of soldiers posting into the battalion.
“Soldiers have responded well to the training as it gets them out of the transport yard and into a relaxed environment to practise,” said CPL Goodwin.
“Newer soldiers in particular are more familiar with computer games so it resonates with them.”