195th Wing Spearheads VR Training for US Air National Guard

8 February 2022

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The U.S. Air National Guard 195th Wing’s Security Forces (SF) wing tested out the Street Smarts VR training system at SANGS during an October unit training assembly tour to experience the technology and the training value it brings to the wing.

The VR technology is part of a cost-effective innovation plan to help implement SF training for both SF defenders and SF augmentees stationed at the 195th's eight geographically separated units (GSU) located throughout the state of California. SF Airmen now have an additional training tool to learn to react quickly and safely to potential threats and dangers that could occur while defending their bases and communities as a part of the California National Guard.

“Security forces are usually the first to respond to a situation and that requires extensive training and confidence in that training, by trusting the information given to you, trusting your gear and knowing how to use it,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Tranchina. “Street Smarts VR allows a better understanding of the information that is being taught to you and the equipment that’s being given to you. When you become more confident and skilled in your tools, tactics and timing, that directly relates to the de-escalation of violence.”

As the combat arms NCOIC for the 195th Wing, Tranchina said he is always looking for better ways to train Airmen and better prepare them for state-wide security forces situations and the potential for non-combat arms personnel outside of security forces to become engaged in domestic operations.

Street Smarts VR offers an immersive, full-body experience with real-time feedback, so a unit can prepare for high-risk situations and worst-case scenarios safely, affordably, and with repeatability. Training includes numerous types of scenarios and equipment options including lethal and less-lethal weapons to enhance reactionary responses, focused decision-making, and de-escalation techniques for potentially violent situations.

“This type of virtual reality training isn’t new to the Air Force, but it is new to the Air National Guard,” said Eric Goldberg, a business development executive with Street Smarts VR. "As of October, 9,000 defender users at 45 active-duty Air Force bases and across 10 MAJCOMS are meeting SF training requirements with Street Smarts VR.”

Additional Air National Guard units have been adopting their VR training system since the 195th helped to bring this VR innovation and training to the ANG community, said Goldberg.


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