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Tanks, aircraft interact for virtual Army training

FORT BLISS, Texas — The Army has set up a virtual program that records every aspect of training missions so soldiers can use video-game-like replay to study how effectively the ground and air forces interacted.

The system — a major upgrade over previous ones that didn’t fully integrate tank and helicopter communications — will be installed at posts across the United States and abroad.

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The Integrated Training Environment is designed to cut costs, sharpen soldiers’ ability to interact with various units, and allow the military to more quickly train the growing ranks of troops returning from deployment.

The system, used at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, Texas, will be expanded by 2017 to 18 locations, including one in South Korea this year.

Inside the command center, dozens of computers run the simulations that replay the entire exercise on a giant screen. The live and computer-generated forces interact seamlessly, much like the replays from video games that allow the user to rotate the images to view them from any angle.

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