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USAF Awards Street Smarts VR With A US $ 1.5 Million SBIR Contract For VR Training

A number of US Air Force (USAF) awards were declared a few days ago. Street Smarts VR (SSVR), a New York-based provider of virtual reality (VR) training for extremely-risky scenarios, de-escalation as well as the conscious use of force, has announced its USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) contract for an amount of nearly US $1.5 million. They will work on standardizing and modernizing training with the help of VR-based performance assessment.

SSVR will operate under the AFWERX Air Force Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract and use its VR platform to support ACC Security Forces’ goals. There will be a competency-based, data-driven, and modernized approach to their training. As per SSVR, several US military and law enforcement organizations already use their training platform. The company states that its platform presents a full-body and an immersive VR experience in a 540° field of view environment which facilitates the freedom of movement and the use of ultra-realistic replica weapons.

ACC is the main provider of air combat forces to their country’s warfighting commanders. Its Security Forces have the responsibility of safeguarding Air Force personnel, assets, and bases from sabotage, acts of war, and other threats like terrorism. Thus, they must be highly proficient in using small arms weapons and force principals. SSVR expects its VR-based training to highly help Security Forces boost proficiency as well as obtain readiness by improving the realism and exposure to the various uses of force scenarios that demand complex-decision making.

USAF Street Smarts VR. Image: usaf

SSVR has further said that with the introduction of new training technologies, there exists a powerful desire to get more usable data and insight on training performance. SSVR will integrate a data analytics framework for ACC that will gather, visualize, as well as track data focused on USAF training metrics. Through this, the Security Force instructors will better understand individual and unit performance.

SSVR also anticipates that over time, the rising volume of this data will perhaps let unit-level and upper-echelon commanders to better comprehend their personnel’s readiness and compare the effectiveness of different training methods. SSVR claims that an excess of ten Security Force units uses its platform. The firm’s software lets trainers focus on the trainee and reduce the task load of managing scenarios that feature numerous branched outcomes. A live dashboard allows trainers to obtain real-time insights to instruct on demand, intervene, and playback after-action reviews.

Oliver Noteware who co-founded SSVR has said that they look forward to joining hands with Air Combat Command. Noteware, who is the firm’s CEO, also talked about ACC utilizing their top-class commercial VR to effectively track and manage their trainees’ progress, get new levels of insight, and obtain consistency across their Security Forces for the highest standard of training and readiness.

The contract will be implemented at Air Combat Command headquarters which is situated at Joint Base Langley Eustis in Virginia. However, the training system’s deployment locations are yet to be revealed.

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