Army trains with Helicopter Virtual Door Gunner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., 8 Nov. 2005. The U.S. Army has introduced helicopter door gunner training into its military readiness program, to comply with new operating procedures that mandate air cover for long-haul convoy operations in Iraq.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., 8 Nov. 2005. The U.S. Army has introduced helicopter door gunner training into its military readiness program, to comply with new operating procedures that mandate air cover for long-haul convoy operations in Iraq.

Convoy units can now conduct joint operations training with air support, using a helicopter Virtual Door Gunner Trainer (VDGT) from Raydon Corp.

Now being used in conjunction with existing virtual convoy simulators at Fort Hood in Texas, the VDGT is the first of its kind, allowing unprecedented interaction between air and ground troops in a training environment.

The VDGT is designed to seamlessly network with Virtual Combat Convoy Trainers (VCCT) developed by Raydon and in use by the U.S. Army. The VCCT was the first commercially developed convoy trainer, and the only one to feature 360-degree spherical visibility and weapons engagement areas. To achieve the level of realism essential to effective convoy operations training, the VCCT uses geo-specific imagery for Iraq, placing soldiers into a "Virtual Baghdad" and other areas.

Raydon regularly updates its combat trainers with new imagery showing detailed depictions of actual terrain, buildings, simulated pedestrians and traffic, streetscapes and other features. The combined VDGT and VCCT training system allows real-time interaction between ground and air units working together on the same virtual battlefield.

"We work directly with military subject matter experts to develop and maintain our convoy training programs," said Don Ariel, CEO of Raydon. "The best way to make sure we continue to meet the training requirements of U.S. forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan is to utilize input from troops on the ground, and incorporate the most recent lessons learned on the battlefield."

In addition to a contemporary operational environment with realistic mission simulation, the VDGT also features interchangeable weapons for the door gunner, and communication skills training through gunner and pilot cross talk and crew coordination.

Like the VCCTs, the VDGTs are designed for easier deployment, maintenance and operation than previous virtual trainers. With appended crew station and tabletop options, the virtual convoy trainers can be configured to ideally match military training needs, from stateside military bases to soldiers in forward positions around the world.

Raydon is building three additional VDGT units that will be used by the U.S. Army and Army National Guard.

"Raydon has always shared a vision with the U.S. Army for a future in which every American soldier has adequate access to the highest level of skill training," Ariel said. "As a part of that vision, we've committed ourselves to providing practical solutions to the most pressing concerns, as in the case of our convoy trainers and now the door gunner trainer."

Raydon Corp. has been at the leading edge of simulation training technology for more than 15 years. By anticipating changing needs and new challenges, Raydon quickly and efficiently provides practical, affordable training solutions to improve performance and achieve success. For more information, see www.raydon.com.

More in Home