Corporate Staff Ride NEWSLETTER - A Detailed Look at the Army's Virtual Reality Staff Ride Program
September 10, 2013The Virtual Reality Staff Ride Market is being pioneered by the Combat Studies Institute, part of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). It is the agency responsible for support of the Army's broad-based and deeply institutionalized use of Staff Ride program for professional development and leadership training across all ranks, commands, and geographies. It was the co-ordinating agency for the development of the historical and doctrinal elements that support Virtual Staff Rides.
As part of their effort to disseminate their technology and human capital investments in Staff Rides, and to promote the benefits of Virtual Reality Staff Rides, Leavenworth has prepared a descriptive presentation. It lays out the basic doctrine, available program modules for an on-site or in-house implementation, including the equipment and other requirements for any group to conduct their own Virtual Reality Staff Rides. The first available scenarios were developed by the Army and its technology partner MetaVR, and are based on combat actions in Iraq and Afghanistan ranging from small unit actions to broad country-wide campaigns.
The presentation makes these points:
1) Demand for Virtual Reality staff rides is growing driven by budget and logistical pressures, esp. funding and travel restrictions, inaccessibility to relevant terrain, (esp. urban sprawl and the ravages of time)
2) Technology is the -answer to providing the same kind of leader development and education experience as on an actual battlefield Staff Ride. Terrain is replicated by satellite imagery amd 3D models to create a virtual battlefield
3) The 8-year CSI-directed effort now includes a broad selection of staff rides, ranging in duration from several hours to several days, based on official publications available on CSI's website, and two dedicated staff members to support outreach
4) Product Offering: Two extended Virtual Staff Rides of Iraq and Afghanistan (1-3 days) and 5 shorter (2-6 hours) modules based on the same technology The scope of operations ranges from Campaign, i.e. Operation Iraqi Freedom to the Ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company
5) "The Staff Ride in a Box" can be used by any unit, worldwide, to structure an in-house Virtual Staff Ride without on-site outside support. The "Box" includes several 2-hour scenarios (above), software, and curricula support for students and guides and can be run on two laptops. Depending on conference facilities up to 60 people can be trained.
6) A new product initiative in 2013 will begin to balance the offering with scenarios built around other periods, starting with the Assault on Fort Wagner in the Civil War