Three years after the first prototype for the UH-60 Black Hawk aircrew trainer (BAT) was set up and implemented as a training aid at Fort Bliss, Texas, that technology has been enhanced.

A team from System Simulation, Software and Integration Directorate, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Aviation & Missile, also known as AMRDEC, has developed the Collective Aircrew Proficiency Environment (CAPE).

BAT and CAPE are linked using an ethernet connection. Crew chiefs and gunners can train in a realistic setting where they see and hear the same things simultaneously.

The singular focus of the Army's modernization strategy is making sure the warfighter and their units are ready to fight, win and come home safely.

"What we're trying to do here is ... teach that crew coordination to allow pilots and crew chiefs to train like they would in combat with two devices tethered to each other," said Jarrod Wright, S3I lead integrator who built the BAT.

Manuel Medina, S3I assimilated integration technician, said this technology can benefit the Army in many ways. Not only can maintenance costs, flight hours, fuel and training dollars be reduced, but the BAT and CAPE systems focus on considerations like spatial orientation or disorientation, response to changes in gravity, and susceptibility to airsickness. These devices mimic the conditions crews see in flight and can identify adverse reactions while minimizing inherent risks.