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            Today’s young gamers are tomorrow’s soldiers. The equipment on a modern battle field is already much like a video game. In the near future there will be even more game like equipment. The skills that young people develop while playing video games are necessary to operate the technologically advanced military equipment. Good hand eye coordination and a general familiarity with the controls are extremely important.

            One of the most well known remote control vehicle in the world is the Predator family of unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV for short. It is flown by two operators in comfortable chairs. Each operator has two large monitors and two smaller touch screens. The Predator is operated by a variety of controls, including two joysticks and a keyboard. It would take someone a long time to learn how to fly one if they have never played a video game. Skilled gamers learn very fast.

            The Air Force isn’t the only branch with remote controlled vehicles. The Multifunction Utility/Logistics Equipment or MULE for short is a six wheeled remote controlled ground vehicle. The operator walks along side the vehicle with a game controller that is only missing the bright colors or wirelessly using a screen to see. It comes in the variations. There is a transport model for carrying supplies. The Armed Robotic Vehicle Assault has antitank weaponry and the Countermine version clears mines.

            The brigade combat team soldier of the future will be connected to Unified Battle Command and sensor data via the network. This connectivity provides the soldier increased intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability while both mounted and dismounted. There is a screen attached to the soldier’s helmet to provide information to him much like combat based video games do now. A video camera can even be mounted to the soldier’s rifle so that he can shoot without exposing himself to the enemy.

            The high tech battlefield of tomorrow will require the same skills that video games develop. Today’s youth are developing their coordination and multi-tasking skills every time they turn on their PlayStations. Playing video games now is training for the future.

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