Experience Army life at the mall

The Army today opened the doors to the Army Experience Center, an educational facility that lets visitors experience Army life virtually, through interactive computer simulations and online learning programs.

Located inside the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, the AEC will inform visitors about Army careers, training and educational opportunities through hands-on interactive computer displays, Army officials said.

Visitors can role-play as soldiers, using mission simulations, Army officials said. During a visit, soldiers will lead visitors through Army equipment simulators, interactive installations and online education programs. Exhibits include a command and control center, where high-tech briefings are conducted; an interactive career center for exploring the more than 150 Army careers; and simulations of an Apache helicopter, a Black Hawk helicopter and armored Humvee vehicle.

Also available are gaming areas that feature Xbox 360 pods, networked PCs for gaming via a local area network and games that include America's Army, the Army's official game.

'The Army is a learning organization that constantly strives to improve its operations, and we've found that virtual experiences are an effective way to communicate the value of Army service,' said Edward Walters, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for recruiting and retention.

More information: www.TheArmyExperience.com.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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