The Dismounted Soldier Training System lets the Army practice operations in immersive virtual environments. (U.S. Army)
Soldiers should soon be able to conduct immersive training with the latest virtual system now that the Dismounted Soldier Training System is being delivered to military installations — though slightly later than anticipated.
System developer Intelligent Decisions announced the formal rollout Aug. 2, more than a month after Floyd West, their director of strategic programs, expected it to happen. West said in April that the systems were intended to roll out in late June after user assessment finished and Army leaders approved the product.
DSTS is a squad-level training tool that lets soldiers practice major combat operations and irregular warfare in a virtual world. The system includes a head-mounted display, full suit, replica weapon, sensor system and wearable computer pack.
The system passed U.S. Army testing with an evaluation by soldiers at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) at Fort Benning, Ga. West said the month delay in fielding the system was an issue of “timing, as far as MCoE being able to support user assessment.”
The Army also has a wish list of features that could be incorporated into future versions, such as additional replica weapons.
Intelligent Decisions began the rollout at Fort Bragg, N.C., on July 26, when two squads from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team conducted training.
Intelligent Decisions says that DSTS will head to 28 U.S. Army installations worldwide in the next six months, slightly less than the 30-plus West predicted a few months ago. West said Intelligent Decisions will still deliver the same number of units, but that the Army will double or triple the number of systems at some sites so that they could network them together.
Here’s more on DSTS capabilities and why immersive training still needs improvement.