Fort Riley Soldiers To Evaluate Virtual Reality Training Technology For The Army


Members of the U.S. Army’s Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Team and industry partners will provide 1st Infantry Division leaders and Soldiers an opportunity to test cutting edge virtual reality training systems and provide feedback during a user assessment at Fort Riley April 22 – 26.

Soldiers will assess a prototype virtual reality system designed to replicate the wide range of ground combat vehicles in the 1st Infantry Division, including the M1 Abrams Tank, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the “Humvee,” as well as dismounted Infantry Squad Operations.

The Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Team is part of the Army Futures Command and recently conducted an aviation user assessment at Fort Carson, Colo. Soldiers at Fort Riley will be assessing the Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer-Ground, which – when fielded — would allow units to conduct collective training from squad through the battalion level.

These assessments are intended to get the developing technologies in the hands of Soldier-users to provide feedback early in the process and help developers build the requirements. Soldiers will be assessing prototypes that are early in the development stage.

The STE Cross Functional Team, based in Orlando, Fla., is one of the Army’s eight cross functional teams designed to reduce the delivery time of new capabilities by integrating critical functions up front in the acquisition process.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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