18 May 2010

How Close Are We Getting to the Holodeck?

The Marines have been trying to build it for years, now Hollywood movie magic is making the Holodeck closer to reality.

To meet the challenge that U.S. Joint Forces Command commander Gen. James M. Mattis laid before the entire defense industry at the I/ITSEC 2009 conference in Orlando in December, we will need to do the opposite. We will need to composite live humans into convincing, compelling virtual environments to improve their performance in complex situations in the real world.
As Mattis pointed out in his keynote presentation at I/ITSEC, we have long enjoyed the rapid training made possible by simulations for our aircraft, mechanized infantry and naval vessels. The result is a fighting force unmatched in kinetic efficiency. But success or failure against the threats we now face will not be determined by firepower, but by decisions made on the ground by small groups of men and women. Their training and situational understanding are paramount to our success and are our only hope for a secure world.
“We need a giant leap forward in our simulated training environment for small units in ground combat … to replicate to the degree practical using modern simulation, combat scenarios that will test our small units,” Mattis said.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, has also provided guidance to our forces to make it clear that we are not there to simply pull triggers. The skills required for success are complex and require the ability to quickly assess information and act accordingly.
“We need to understand the people and see things through their eyes. It is their fears, frustrations and expectations that we must address. We will not win simply by killing insurgents. We will help the Afghan people win by securing them, by protecting them from intimidation, violence and abuse, and by operating in a way that respects their culture and religion. This means that we must change the way we think, act and operate. We must get the people involved as active participants in the success of their communities,” McChrystal said.

By: Brant

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