$50M to be invested in combat training games

The Army isn’t messing around anymore.

While many may have thought that America’s Army: Operations game was a bold move when it first came out it is nothing compared to what the Army has up its sleeve. According to Seth Robson of Stars and Stripes the Army has created its own video game unit and plans on investing some $50 million over five years. the investment will be spent on designing game systems used to prepare soldiers for combat.

Lt. Col. Gary Stephens who is the product manager for air and ground tactical trainers said that the $50 million has been approved through the Project Executive Office – Simulation Training and Instrumentation starting in 2010

“The Army takes this seriously,” Stephens said of PEO-STRI and its Army gaming unit, which will handle military video game requirements. “We own gaming for the Army — from requirements through procurement,” he said.

In addition to the $50 million the Army gaming unit has an undisclosed budget to purchase a state-of-the-art commercial video game system that will be fielded for training in February. It would seem like Col. Mark McManigal, the capabilities manger for gaming under the Training and Doctrine Command, says

“We are just starting on the tip of the spear of where this is going to go,”

I’ll say .. it also seems like all those hours kids are spending playing Battlefield might just give them a jump one day.