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The US Army uses a variety of simulation tools to prepare soldiers for combat, with training that covers everything from field artillery operations to air-ground coordination. The Army has been testing a new variant of a tool that is expected to help soldiers prepare for battle more effectively and efficiently.

The Live, Virtual, Constructive Integrating Architecture, or LVC-IA, is a system of systems that links separate simulators and simulations across disparate geographies. The newly introduced capability represents the fourth version of the system, which was first fielded in 2012.

The aim of this fourth variant is “to take these systems that were designed to do a specific thing, in a specific environment, and bring them together in an integrated training environment,” said Christopher Vaughn, a developer at the Army’s National Simulation Center. That integrated environment delivers a live, interactive experience in which commanders across the Army can provide simulated data to soldiers using highly realistic systems.

By engaging trainees with real-life commanders, the system greatly increases the depth of learning available in a simulated environment. The high degree of interactivity offers a level of realism previously unavailable. And the geographic reach of the LVC-IA is key to its utility.

This innovation has the potential to make a more robust and more uniform training capability available across multiple military components, including the National Guard and Reserves. The net result is meant to be troops that can more quickly and effectively fight.