Secret Service Replacing Scale Models With Game-Based Training

The U.S. Secret Service is upgrading its current, tabletop-based training models with a set of new, interactive training kiosks featuring 55 inch 3D touchscreen displays and set to be rolled out this spring.
The U.S. Secret Service is upgrading its current, tabletop-based training models with a set of new, interactive training kiosks, set to be rolled out this spring. The Site Security Planning Tool will consist of three kiosks at the Secret Service's Washington training center, each with a 55-inch stereoscopic touch-screen display and projectors and cameras to create a limited virtual reality environment, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Bohemia Interactive's underlying Virtual Battlespace simulation will allow trainees to evaluate simulated threats including armed assaults and suicide bombings from both a third-person overhead view and a first-person virtual walkthrough perspective. The same basic simulation software has been used by the UK's ministry of defense since 2007. In the future, funders at the DHS hope the training program will be able to account for bystander health effects from chemical, radiological or biological attacks, and to account for a wider range of potential attacks. Once the kiosks are deployed this Spring, they will largely replace "Tiny Town," a series of scale models of various potential incident locations that's been used by the government protection agency for over 40 years. In recent years, game-based training programs have been implemented by a variety of organizations, from hospitals to technology firms and hotels. In 2009, the U.S. Army paid $17.7 million to upgrade its DARWARS Ambush training game with a new Game After Ambush training program.

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