Norwich students recognized for role in testing virtual technology training methods

N-VLIP individual gunnery experimental team sigilOn April 29, 2005, 64 Norwich University ROTC students were recognized for their role in testing virtual tank training systems developed by Raydon, Inc. The students, all members of Armor Company, put a total of 1,147 man-hours into the 16-week project, which was part of the National Guard's virtual low-cost infrastructure pilot program (N-VLIP).

N-VLP is a National Guard initiative designed to field low-cost simulation devices to home station armories. Students were trained on the Individual Gunnery Trainer (IGT), the first product of N-VLIP. According to COL J. Michael Gately, ROTC CAO, the preliminary findings of the study show that this training methodology significantly exceeds initial expectations.

"The program has begun to make great strides in providing dramatically increased, low-cost training opportunities to the soldier," Gately said. Addressing the students, he added, "The results from the test you have done show that you are able to advance through that training matrix."

General Martha T. Rainville, Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, praised the program for its immediate practical application.

"We have taken a big step forward in getting our soldiers trained and ready before they are mobilized," Rainville said.

A collaboration between Norwich University, the Vermont National Guard, and RAYDON, Inc., the success of the IGT experiment bodes well for future projects of this nature.

"This was a true team effort and has set the stage for continued collaboration well into the future," said Colonel Gately.

Each student received a special certificate acknowledging his role in the pilot program. In addition, freshman Charles Cassels and sophomore Jonathan Scott were singled out for their exceptional performance during the testing. MAJ Eric Lowry, faculty advisor for the group, also received a special award for his leadership role in the project.

In his remarks, President Schneider also acknowledged the role of Senator Patrick Leahy in making the N-VLP project a reality.

"Without his leadership to recognize the potential of this technology to increase soldier readiness, we would not have been able to complete this project."

Raydon, Inc. is a virtual training company located in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Raydon AFIST XXI system used at the Vermont National Guard armory on the Norwich campus simulates Abrams Tank situations with a full crew.

Rainville, Lowry, Cassels, Scott, Schneider, Owens

(l-r) MG Martha T. Rainville, Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard; MAJ Eric Lowry, faculty advisor for the armor company at Norwich University; Freshman Charles Cassels; Sophomore Jonathan Scott; RADM Richard W. Schneider, President of Norwich University; Marion Owens, Executive Vice President of Raydon