Third ID Soldiers Train on New Combat Simulators - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/22/05

Third ID Soldiers Train on New Combat Simulators

With the majority of the Third Infantry Division already in Iraq, lots of other soldiers are busy training, getting ready to deploy. Some of the training has changed since the first time the Third ID deployed. We spent the afternoon at Fort Stewart getting an inside look at how many of our troops prepare for war in the virtual world.

Training out in the field to see how well they perform before heading over to Iraq is just one of many types of training a soldier undergoes.

"Soldiers cannot be thrown into an everyday suburban area and what this does is reenact that," said Sgt. 1st Class J. Score.

The other type of training looks a lot like a high tech-video game, but in reality this type of virtual training was designed to help save soldiers' lives.

"All the commanders we come in contact with, they all enjoy this training," said engagement skills trainer Ernest Young. "They think that's the best thing in a long time to come along for the soldiers."

When the Third Infantry first deployed in 2003, they didn't have a training facility like this. It was recently designed for soldiers who now deal with urban combat situations, a type of fighting they didn't see too much of during the first deployment to Iraq.

"You're in the rural areas, you're in the building districts and stuff like that as opposed to open ranges or the woods," said Sgt. 1st Class Score. "You have to take into account civilians, innocent by-passers, along with the enemy."

By using this type of technology, soldiers will be scored on their performance, no matter which type of simulator they use, further helping them hone their fighting skills before hitting the actual battlefield.

"He can practice them right here on the ground in a virtual world, where if he did make a mistake or if a mistake was made, we could back up, start over again," noted Andrew Felton with Constructive Simulation.

Those state-of-the-art training facilities are among the many reasons Fort Stewart won the Army Community of Excellence Award for two years in a row.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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