The types of challenges facing the police, counter terrorism and critical national infrastructure operators have undergone significant changes in complexity and frequency in recent years. Lone wolf terrorist incidents, cyber attacks on multi-national companies and European infrastructure and the recent nerve agent attacks in the UK mean even more than ever that the techniques used to train our police officers have to be continuously reviewed and developed.
Nothing can replace real-life training, but increasingly the use of innovative technology is being explored in an effort to find ways to expand the training options available to Security Critical Agents (SCAs). The TARGET project has been exploring ways to incorporate Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality into the range of training options available. The core objective is quite simply to immerse trainees at operational, tactical and strategic command levels with scenarios that include tactical firearms events, asset protection, mass demonstrations, cyber-attacks and CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) incidents.
A series of six Trials were held in September 2018 to evaluate the second version of the MR and VR solutions, each one of which was hosted by the project’s end user partners – police training colleges in Slovakia, Germany, Spain, France and in the gold command room of a UK fire and rescue service. The practical and very tangible benefits of these MR and VR solutions include:
- Able to train more officers in a given period
- Fewer role players are needed for successful exercises
- Exercises are cost-effective and easily repeatable
- High levels of immersion seen during the recent V2 Trials
Representing 16 partners from 10 EU member states, the TARGET consortium brings together the expertise of major end-users, leading edge technologists and experts in technology assessment, ethics, and security sensitivity. TARGET will develop, trial and assess a comprehensive open distributed platform using Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality technologies incorporated into state-of-the-art decision support tools.
TARGET is developing the unique combination of serious gaming Training Content (TC) and collaborative trans-national training to achieve its objectives. TARGET will trigger the emergence of an innovative marketplace for sharing, licensing and paying for serious TC between SCAs, dramatically leveraging the existing European wealth of exercises.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 653350.
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