Evidence on the impact of simulation based training

The United States Department of Defense ran a project to analyse the current and historical use of marksmanship training. The analysis compared costs of using traditional live-fire training alone versus using simulator training. Research on the effectiveness of using the simulator training, conducted previously is used as a basis for the effectiveness analysis. The questions researched are:

“Can using the simulator training reduce training costs compared to using live-fire ranges alone?”

and

“Will continued use of the simulator training be as effective as using live fire alone?”

The project identifies current virtual training systems and analyses potential opportunities for cost savings. The data supported the hypothesis that the simulator training system will reduce costs over the years that it is used to supplement live-fire ranges. A cost analysis was conducted, and a sensitivity report generated. Results provided an estimate of the per-person cost of training, logistics savings, and virtual system benefits. The analysis concludes that a well-sequenced mix of simulator training and live-fire training would maximise cost savings — and is as good for overall marksmanship quality as live-fire alone.

Link to report PDF

The analysis in this project concluded that there is definitely a large potential to save money while having the same quality and robust training using the ISMT coupled with LFT. This system, while providing a higher NPV, also provided the quality of training require by Marine recruit marksmen. The major costs associated with the determination are for the most part driven by the man hours used by live-fire ranges as well as the low life-cycle cost of the ISMT range.

Khary Atiim Bates June 2011

Cost Analysis and Effectiveness of Using the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer (ISMT) for United States Marine Corps (USMC) Marksmanship Training, NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

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