Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim)
The U.S. Air Force Academy has selected VBS3 and VBS Fires FST products from Bohemia Interactive Simulations and SimCentric Technologies for use in the Academy’s Military Strategic Studies course.
VBS3, developed by Bohemia Interactive Simulations, is a full-featured virtual environment application, complete with scenario editors, after-action review, a massive content library, developer tools, an easy-to-use interoperability gateway, and a voice communications system. It is arguably the standard in game-based desktop simulation for tactical training and mission rehearsal, and is by far the most widely used game-based simulation software among militaries today.
Prior to using VBS3, the U.S. Air Force Academy primarily relied on live training to introduce cadets to remotely piloted aircraft operations, using the RQ-11 Raven, a lightweight, hand-launched unmanned aerial system commonly used for low-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence.
Michael “Ski” Golembesky, the instructor for the USAFA RPA Program who incorporated VBS3 into the curriculum, designed a series of scaffolded training scenarios using VBS3 that require cadets to conduct basic tasks such as tracking an individual using the virtual UAV to more challenging missions, designed to test a team’s ability to take a commander’s intent to support a complex special operations nighttime mission. Golembesky noted that the VBS3 mission editors allow him the flexibility as training administrator to inject new elements into the scenario or control the pace of how events unfold in an exercise, depending on how quickly the students progress. Cadets use mIRC chat and voice-over IP to simulate interactions over satellite communications with instructors playing different roles. VBS3 also connects to the Academy’s RPA simulator.
VBS3 includes more than 40 unmanned systems and provides a generic UAV interface for operation system payload sensors and weapons. UAV models also feature a variety of camera modes including Electro-Optical and Infrared views. VBS Fires FST, from SimCentric Technologies, simulates Call for Fire and Close Air Support activities within VBS3, providing exterior and terminal ballistics to high levels of detail and supports a wide array of munitions, fuse types and firing platforms.
Roughly 250 cadets a year will gain exposure to RPA and air power operations training through the course.
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