At the recent Defence iQ Future Training and Simulation for Military and Security event, Doug Livermore, a US Special Forces officer and contracted advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, discussed the burgeoning world of virtual military training exercises and the effects they could have on everything from expenses to geopolitics.
In a world where we are assessing whether Iran shooting down a drone in the Strait of Hormuz constitutes an act of war, the threat of military training destabilising a region is increasingly apparent. This has been seen in the past with the joint US and South Korean military exercise Foal Eagle increasing tensions on the already volatile peninsula. It has also played out with massive NATO wargames in Scandinavia in response to Russian exercises.
There are a myriad of benefits to virtual training, one of which is safety. Livermore mentioned a CNN study which makes this point strikingly clear.
“Between 2006 and 2018 31.9% of all US military deaths occurred during training, whereas only 16.3% occurred were due to combat,” he said, adding that with virtual training this number would be significantly lower. By not exposing soldiers to live-fire exercises and other training activity, the risk of a soldier dying while being taught to use equipment would drop significantly.
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