Army photo by Capt. Mike Manougian / DVIDS
- The Fort Hood soldiers are quarantined while waiting for their tanks.
- They are using War Thunder to train in a way they couldn't even achieve with their own M1A2 Abrams tanks.
- The game enables soldiers who have been trained in a job to switch roles in the game and give them valuable insight into the role of tanks on the modern battlefield.
Soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas, use an online massive multiplayer (MMO) game to learn tank tactics and improve their real-world skills. The tankers of the D-troop, the 6th Squadron, the 9th Cavalry Regiment, the 3rd Panzer Brigade Combat Team and the 1st Cavalry Division train in-game, maneuver their vehicles and use real procedures. The tankers are currently without a tank in the real world, are waiting for new tanks and are stuck in "force protection". This would describe civilians as social distancing, which makes video games an ideal solution.
The US military is not immune to the COVID-19 pandemic. 4,912 cases have been reported throughout military service, including two deaths. The Army, which knows that enough infections can cause a unit to cease to operate, reduces or adjusts soldiers' training to "protect the armed forces."
According to the US Army, D Troop is currently waiting for new M1A2 Abrams tanks after relinquishing its older tanks after returning to Fort Hood from a temporary mission in South Korea. Without tanks and without the opportunity to train on the field, the leaders of the D troops turned to War Thunder an MMO game in which players in a virtual combat zone commanded tanks, infantry vehicles and even Planes can take over. Soldiers use a free chat program to communicate with each other as they maneuver through the artificial landscape. According to the US Army:
“A typical session usually begins with a letter from the section or train supervisor, followed by rehearsals. It also contains the required measurements from the training manuals. The crews then meet online and conduct the training for that day. After the training, they will conduct a review to discuss the findings and opportunities for improvement. “
The game gave the soldiers valuable insight into the broader task of their units. For example, the four-man crew of an Abrams tank – the tank commander, the gunner, the loader, and the driver – all meet in War Thunder in four separate tanks, where they compromise an armored train. A train of tankers in real life becomes a whole company of tanks in the virtual world.
A tank loader, for example, becomes a tank commander who is responsible for his own armored vehicle in combat. The loader, who normally does not see beyond the injury of a 120-millimeter M256 main weapon in combat, is suddenly confronted with the overall picture of his vehicle. As a tank commander, the loader now has to think about how his tank works with the rest of his platoon. The loader learns what it is like, up to two levels above its station, which gives it a greater perspective than it could learn in a real tank.
Although D Troop's cavalrymans are experienced soldiers in real life, they begin at the end of the technology tree War Thunder . A photo (above) shared by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service shows an Army soldier playing the medium tank M2 a tank from the late 1930s. The M2 was outdated at the time the US entered World War II and was never used overseas to fight. D Troop's Cav Troopers can eventually make their way to their "real" tanks, the M1A2 Abrams, but it will be a long, long time in the game.
Source: Business Insider