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VIRTUAL ARMY EXPERIENCE
Display: Virtual Army Experience
 
Organization: United States Army
 
Display Location: By Airshow Enterance
 
Misc:
 
Website:http://vae.americasarmy.com/
Army Experience
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OVERVIEW
The Virtual Army Experience (VAE) provides participants with a virtual test drive of the United States Army. The core of the 9,750-square-foot VAE is the America’s Army computer game, rendered with state-of-the-art Army training simulation technology to create a life-size, networked virtual world. The VAE highlights key Soldier occupations, Army technologies, operating environments and missions, within a fast-paced, action-packed, information-rich experience that immerses visitors in the world of Soldiering. Participants employ teamwork, rules of engagement, leadership and high-tech equipment as they take part in a virtual U.S. Army mission.

SCENARIO
A well-armed genocidal faction in the notional city of Nradreg has surrounded a group of humanitarian aid workers and refugees, who face starvation and imminent attack. This enemy faction has rejected all diplomatic efforts to negotiate safe passage of relief supplies. As part of international relief efforts, a combined U.S. Army air, sea and ground task force has been ordered to use appropriate force to reach the remote compound. The Army will employ artillery and electronic warfare assets to suppress enemy air defenses while a Special Forces team parachutes deep into enemy territory. Then, AH64 Apache attack helicopters will destroy hostile coastal defenses to permit the entry of an Army Theater Support Vehicle (TSV) into Nradreg’s harbor. The Army ground task force, mounted in Strykers and HMMWVs, will come ashore and fight through fierce resistance to rescue the trapped aid workers and refugees, and deliver vital supplies.

EXPERIENCE
Participants are introduced through videos to actual Soldiers who embody the training, occupations and abilities that make the U.S. Army the world’s premier land force. At the Joint Operations Center, participants receive live and recorded briefings from team members who discuss intelligence, force protection, communication, combat support and the scenario’s current situation, to prepare them for entering the virtual combat operation. Participants then enter the mission simulator area where they cross into enemy territory and execute an operation. Up to 20 participants are assigned to one of three elements (Alpha, Bravo or Charlie). The participants fall in on HMMWV simulators modeled on vehicles employed by Army Special Forces where they use M4 Rifles or M249 SAWs (Squad Automatic Weapons) and are assigned duties such as CROWS Gunner or HMMWV Turret Gunner. Other participants load UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters where they employ light arms and provide air coverage against enemy forces rendered by the America’s Army game. Working as a team, participants execute the ground component of a noncombatant evacuation operation. They must navigate chaotic environments in order to reach the objective and bring relief to the aid workers and refugees who are surrounded by enemy fighters. Upon mission completion, participants move to the After Action Review area where they receive a debriefing on their performance. The VAE also includes activities ranging from multiplayer versions of the America’s Army Xbox 360 and PC computer games, briefings by America’s Army Real Heroes (decorated Soldiers honored for their actions in combat) and, at select locations, MARCbot Robot operator training and a robot agility course. Throughout, Soldiers guide activities and stand ready to discuss Soldiering with participants.

VAE FACTS
General Facts
• Like the America’s Army game, the VAE is designed to provide visitors with a high-fidelity, information-rich experience in which participants can take part in a virtual test drive of Soldiering in the U.S. Army.
• The VAE is featured at large events across the country, including festivals, state fairs and air shows.
• America’s Army Real Heroes (Soldiers who have distinguished themselves in combat and earned citations for bravery and valor) will appear with the VAE at select locations.
• Scenarios presented within the VAE Mission Simulator are based on the America’s Army PC game, which is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. As with the PC game, VAE participants operate under rules of engagement and laws of land warfare in order to achieve mission success.
• The VAE features Army combat systems adapted for use within the VAE. These systems employ laser engagement and pneumatic recoil to replicate the feel and function of Army equipment.
• The VAE supports up to 75 participants per hour (including the convoy simulation and game stations).
• The total VAE immersive experience takes approximately 30 minutes.
• Numerous media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and AdWeek, have covered the Virtual Army Experience in feature stories.
Fun Facts
• Houses more than 35 flat screens and more than 2.5 miles of data cable.
• Requires more than 35 computers and 260 gigs of processing power to run the experience.
• Has the equivalent computing power of an Army Stryker Battalion.
• Is covered by an inflatable dome weighing over 2,700 pounds.
• In 2007, the VAE was awarded Event Design magazine’s Bronze Award for Best Outdoor Consumer Environment

Photo and information courtesy of U.S. Army

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