Navy finds that commercial games have potential for other military training uses

Although the Navy is focusing on the use of desktop PC simulation for pilot training,
such applications also could benefit other military uses.


There are simulation games in production for training in surface and submarine warfare,
Navy officials said.


The Navy’s submarine organizations, for example, use 688I Hunter/Killer, a game
from Sonalysts Inc. of Waterford, Conn. The game, which replicates the Los Angeles-class
Attack submarine, gives sailors a tool to help develop tactical skills and knowledge.
Junior officers are able to play more experienced senior officers. The game is in use
aboard submarines and at the Navy’s Submarine School in Groton, Conn.


The Naval Surface Forces Atlantic staff also is working with game companies to develop
a simulation for its sailors. The problem with existing games is that they tend to give an
overarching view of surface warfare actions; the Navy is interested in more individualized
programs applicable to training, said Cmdr. Mike Kennedy, deputy director of the Naval
Education and Training program’s Assessment Division.


The goal is to have highly trained individuals who are able to maintain proficiency in
the tactical side of their training, Navy officials said.


“I like it when the Navy does things that make sense, and this does,” said
Ensign Herb Lacy, of the service’s efforts to bring more training simulation tools to
students via desktop PCs.  


—Ensign Eric L. Petersen


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