Army uses online war Thunder computer game to teach tank tactics to troops during coronavirus lockdown in Texas
- Fort Hood soldiers play online games to maintain skills
- They use the online war game War Thunder for daily tank maneuvers
- The game gives soldiers the chance to train to control their own tanks while in the real world they are assigned to one of four crew positions
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Army soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas conduct training exercises in the War Thunder online computer game while observing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soldiers normally operate M1A2 Abrams tanks in groups of four, with each soldier assigned the role of commander, artilleryman, loader or driver.
While playing War Thunder, each soldier is assigned their own tank, which helps them train like other crew positions, which they would not otherwise have had the chance to experience.
Soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas continue tank maneuvers during the COVID-19 pandemic while using the online game War Thunder
“The idea was born after restrictions were placed on training opportunities to protect the force,” said Captain Mike Manougian in an interview with DVIDS, the army’s news blog.
“ We have a lot of soldiers who enjoy video games in their spare time, chatting with a lot of them, we discovered that a lot of them were playing tank games and so we started to explore the opportunities. ”
Each session begins with a briefing from the section head or section head, which presents the specific “rehearsals” or maneuvers that the teams are supposed to perform.
The sessions also include mandatory reading of training manuals to ensure that all maneuvers are performed as accurately as possible, and after each session the troops meet to discuss their performance.
“We can use the game as an educational tool for each member of the crew,” said Staff Sergeant. Tommy Huynh, section chief of the 3rd platoon.
“For example, drivers can train on shift training and change training exercises. Sure, online games have their limits, but for young soldiers it helps them understand the basics of their work.
“We have a lot of soldiers who enjoy video games in their spare time, chatting with a lot of them, we found out that a lot of them were playing tank games and so we started to explore the opportunities,” said the Captain Mike Manougian.
War Thunder was developed by Russian game studio Gaijin Games and first released in 2012, with a focus on realistic combat using vehicles from the Spanish Civil War, World War II, war in Iraq, etc.
The option to occasionally use older vehicles has been an unexpected benefit for many soldiers, who say it gives them a better appreciation of the modern tanks they are used to.
“It also helps them understand some of the tactical decision-making of their leaders,” said Manougian.
“I was talking to a young shooter the other day who was using a tank with limited depression and he saw how other players could use it against him with defenses in reverse slope.”