While most of the games at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) are being played for fun, the U.S. Army has adapted game technology to train soldiers. The technology of the video game "America's Army" has been integrated into the Javelin missile training system and the Common Remotely Operated Weapons System (CROWS), which is a remote-controlled gun used on newer Humvees. You can see the Javelin Missile trainer and the CROWS trainer in action in our video.
These training systems use the same chassis and the same switch as the real device. In addition, they also make the same sounds. We played with the simulation unit, turned the Javelin missile into seek mode and listened to a whirring sound, which, we were told, was exactly what one would hear in real life. With practice missiles costing tens of thousands of dollars, it's easy to see how this system could pay for itself very quickly.
A few years ago, the U.S. government funded the creation of the game "America's Army." Originally, it was intended to be a marketing and recruiting tool, but the system is accurate enough to train soldiers. Mike Barnett from America's Army Government Applications Redstone Arsenal told TG Daily that soldiers learn faster and are more enthusiastic about using the game-like trainers. In fact, some soldiers apparemtly have taken the systems for use in their off-duty time.
Video Download: Game technology helps soldiers practice firing missiles and guns
H.264 high-resolution video (3:34 min) 1 Mbit/s - 28.0 MB
WMV low-resolution video 512 kbit/s - 15.1 MB
Join our discussion on E3 2006