May 01, 2018

Thriving and Surviving Through Training

AMY MCCULLOUGH 

The Air Force is aggressively seeking new technologies that will be affordable and can be rapidly fielded to help the force become more lethal. When it comes to training, artificial intelligence and virtual reality are keys to making this a certainty. Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast, head of Air Education and Training Command, said the service is in the “nascent” stages of adopting virtual and augmented reality. USAF is still trying to understand exactly what impact this technology has on the human brain, how it can be utilized to make the force more effective, and how much it costs, he told reporters at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.  

Researchers have already discovered that humans learn visceral things, such as how to get in a cockpit and start up a jet, “pretty quickly,” said Kwast. It’s when they have to fuse various pieces of information together in a complex environment—as in a combat scenario where another human or machine is trying to kill them—that more training is required.