WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 13, 2008) Aca,!" Several of the ArmyAca,!a,,cs latest techno training tools were displayed on Capitol Hill last week, including a life-size medical mannequin that can blink, tear, salivate and even show allergic reactions, and a real-time language translator SoldierAca,!a,,cs wear on their wrist that will speak for them.

Sponsored by Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, the closed-to-the-public demonstrations were open to members of Congress and their staffs to experience first-hand interactive military simulations and training devices that currently prepare warfighters for their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Part of the Medical Simulation Training Center Aca,!" the life-size, full-weight human mannequin Aca,!" was a highlight of the event. This combat casualty care instruction mannequin represented the ArmyAca,!a,,cs standardized medical training program and is intended to reduce the die-of-wounds rate on the battlefield by providing Soldiers with skills to save the wounded.

Through hands-on instruction, Soldiers learn to treat the three most thea mannequin. They also practice intubations, tracheotomies, inserting catheters, applying splints, treating open chest wounds and inserting intravenous solutions.

Maj. Dave Thompson, assistant product manager for the medical simulation training center program at PEO-STRI said the virtual patient is tethered to a power and fluid supply which is what allows it to breathe, bleed and to react to the medical assistance being rendered.

The drawback to this Aca,!A"bleed-breatheAca,!A? mannequin is that training on it is limited to classrooms. During urban field training, such as assaulting a building, dead-weight mannequins are used so when a Soldier comes across a Aca,!A"casualty,Aca,!A? he transports it back to the aid station where he looks up at the instructor for guidance and then proceeds with the medical attention.

Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cre working with our developmental partners to develop a tetherless capability which will be a self-contained mannequin that we envision can be used for extraction in field training,Aca,!A? said Thompson. Aca,!A"That would make it even more realistic, so that a medic or combat lifesaver actually has to reach back and check on that patient during the extraction phase.Aca,!A?

While the untethered mannequin is in development, all Soldiers will experience the tethered mannequin at one of 18 centers worldwide and become combat lifesaver certified.

Aca,!A"The surgeon general has determined that what is extremely important on the battlefield is the platinum 10 minutes after wounding, the combat life saver can respond to that,Aca,!A? Thompson said. Aca,!A"If you think about a platoon that only has one medic and that medic is to handle that entire platoon of Soldiers, but if you can train infantrymen, artillerymen, MPs to do that initial life saving, then you can augment what that medic can do tenfold.Aca,!A?

Aiding Well-rounded Communication

While the medical training plays out when Soldiers are wounded or hurt in combat zones, the Vcommunicator Mobile is assisting Soldiers with communication efforts and aiding them to engage with Iraqi and Afghani populations as Soldiers conduct operations.

Vcommunicator Mobile is a one-way translation device configured from an Apple iPod personal entertainment system. ItAca,!a,,cs a multi-functional, multimedia language and culture learning tool strapped onto the wrist that provides Soldiers the ability to converse in Arabic, Kurdish, Dari and Pashtu while also portraying correct cultural mannerisms, and it may be used for training during downtime.

Presently, there are roughly 300 iPod Nano- or Classic-sized vcommunicators in theater being used by the 10th Mountain DivisionAca,!a,,cs 1st and 4th Brigade Combat Teams at one per eight Soldiers.

Ernie Bright, operations manager for Vcom 3D and builder of the device, said the company first started fielding the units in October after training demos at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., where the communicator was put to the test with real native speakers in village scenarios.

Aca,!A"We took feedback from the Soldiers and started incorporating that into the device,Aca,!A? he said.

Strapped onto the wrist, the small digital screen can display a 3D avatar that comes up as a military character which then shows the Soldier how to speak one of the four languages phonetically and how to make the appropriate matching gestures. The Soldier can also display the written language and have the dialogue transmitted out loud for him. If the Soldiers are seeking someone, a photo can be displayed.

Soldiers may choose from a list of 20 missions, ranging from basic conversations covering a wide range of missions, from raids, to medical assistance to detainee processing.

Aca,!A"This device provides Soldiers with phrases like 'get down on the ground,' which is a rough phrase, but there are also phrases like, 'may I give your children these gifts,Aca,!a,,c " Bright said. He said the device helps Soldiers be more well-rounded when communicating on missions