The Army is moving forward with plans to augment training through the use of what it calls the Synthetic Training Environment – essentially, virtual-reality scenarios that can be replicated and tailored to operate whenever and wherever they are needed.

“The intent is to leverage commercial advances with military-specific technologies, to provide commanders adaptive unit-specific training options to achieve readiness more rapidly and sustain [it] longer,” said Col. Harold Buhl of Army Research Laboratory Orlando, who manages the service’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). Some day, soldiers will be able to train for all their missions using augmented-reality and synthetic-environment systems. The added technology will be transportable, thus forgoing the need to conduct such training at specific physical locations. Additionally, using virtual environments would be much less costly to maintain.