Warfighters and soldiers in the field face numerous dangerous and life-threatening situations every day. Not only are the enemies they face unpredictable, but they must also make decisions based on their unique environments, which are difficult to mimic or simulate using common learning methods. A simulator that utilizes real video is a highly effective way to train soldiers, and with time, this style of training can lead to better reactions and decision-making skills.

Virtual Simulators are Immersive

In many cases, recruits learn how to handle situations they may encounter in the field by listening to a lecture, watching a video, or going out into the field and practicing a variety of maneuvers. Though these things can and often do help members of the military learn what to do in certain situations, these methods lack realism and do little to properly train soldiers. When faced with a life-threatening situation, soldiers who have experienced that situation before are far more likely to react appropriately.

VirTra’s simulators are designed to provide a completely immersive experience and help soldiers feel as if they are truly out in the field. They utilize high-quality video and sound, and they come with dozens of pre-programmed scenarios that can be customized for unique situations. This makes a simulator one of the best tools available for training.

Experience Any Imaginable Scenario and Environment

Another of the biggest benefits associated with utilizing VirTra to train warfighters is the simulators’ ability to recreate almost any scenario in any possible environment. For example, a vehicle may react differently in dry conditions than in the rain, and by simulating both experiences, soldiers can learn the differences and make appropriate decisions. Types of military scenarios include green-on-blue, active threat, key leader engagement and more. Essentially, with the ability to control the scenario, the weather and the visibility, it is possible to help soldiers and warfighters learn what it is like to work in a wide range of conditions that they may not experience otherwise.

The same goes for virtual range training, where VirTra’s marksmanship programs are both customizable and ballistically accurate. This makes it a perfect supplement for live fire range training. Instructors can change the setting of the range from the time of day, weather, wind and more so military members can experience the effects different conditions have when firing. Instructors may also change the types of targets and how they appear, turn or pop up.

In-Depth Progress Measurement

VirTra gives military service members (and their instructors) an opportunity to review the actions that were taken during the simulation and improve their behaviors based upon the result. In other words, it is possible to measure soldiers’ progress objectively and completely. Simulators track everything a soldier says and does, and they can even record reaction time. Following a simulation, it is possible to review footage for debrief of any given individual’s performance. The more a servicemember experiences these scenarios, the better he or she will become at making quick decisions.


Service members out in the field experience a wide range of unpredictable situations. Because of this, it may seem impossible to train based on real-life experience, but this is not the case. Simulators can provide an incredibly realistic simulation of any imaginable situation in any environment, and when soldiers can learn by doing, they are far more likely to make the best decisions when faced with those scenarios in the field.

To learn more about how VirTra can help train your military squad, speak to a specialist.

As a way to ensure servicemembers are well-prepared for any given situation, VirTra’s subject matter experts and content department work together to create high quality, realistic simulator scenarios. Just one example of the dozens of scenarios focuses on vehicle traffic control point training.

Traffic Control Points (TCP), like their name suggests, are locations where military police control the traffic – but it is not just about telling drivers where to go and ensuring orderly flow. Soldiers and warfighters must maintain situational awareness during searches and in case of militant attacks.

The scenario shown in the video below simulates a Traffic Control Checkpoint where a search turns suddenly escalates and an enemy militant opens fire on the student and their squad. This military training scenario allows trainees to understand how quickly situations can turn deadly and how to provide cover for fellow soldiers.

In addition to TCP training, soldiers and warfighters also have access to scenarios for Key Leader Engagement, Combat Training, Green on Blue, Active Threats and much more. Marksmanship is also an important focus, as VirTra has ensured our customizable virtual ranges feature incredible ballistic accuracy so skills transfer properly to the field. Combined with our durable recoil kits and CO2 magazines that fit right into a soldier’s duty weapon, VirTra’s training is the perfect supplement to live-fire.

To learn more about how VirTra can provide intense, realistic and effective training for servicemembers, contact a specialist today.

VirTra is proud to create training systems that prepare military servicemembers for real-life incidents, just as with law enforcement. Thousands of hours have been spent engineering, planning, testing and creating state-of-the-art training simulators that ensure soldiers are best able to better protect our country and return home safely.

While we could write a long article describing how these simulators immerse servicemembers visually and auditorily, create high-stress situations, and help hone specific skills, VirTra believes in showing. After all, seeing training in action is significantly more powerful than reading about it. Not to mention, VirTra is proud to show our work and prove our statements.

The objective behind the scenario below is for servicemembers to learn to identify key characteristics in body language and facial cues. This ability is crucial, as subtle changes in a situation can help servicemembers prepare and react appropriately for a better outcome.

Furthermore, this scenario is about a soldier conducting a Key Leader Engagement with a village elder, looking for information regarding a high-value target. With that bit of backstory, soldiers enter the scenario and must react to the unfolding situation. Watch it below and take note of how these specific soldiers handle the situation.

Many trainers utilize the common red or blue training weapons. They are useful for training drills with trainees who have never used a firearm before; helping them become familiar with the weapon’s mechanics. It also allows both convenience and safety while training within a simulated environment.

As you may already be aware, VirTra typically provides recoil kits and CO2 magazines for use within our use of force simulators. This allows law enforcement trainees to use their duty weapons in the simulator by outfitting it with our CNC machined hardware. However, there are more options than this – besides the blue-colored training pistols, VirTra offers a patented M4/M16 non-gun.

The non-gun is a highly realistic laser replica rifle that is designed for simulator use that has an orange tip to mitigate real weapons brought into the training environment. Not only does it replicate the shape and size of a real M4 or M16 rifle, but it includes necessary and customizable functions such as:

• Toggle between auto and semi-auto fire, as well as safe mode
• 30 round capacity with the ability to remove the magazine
• Attachable sight, configurable stock and Picatinny rail

Having a training weapon such as the M4/M16 non-gun ensures safety within the police training room and gives law enforcement trainees a chance to make mistakes in a safe environment. It serves its purpose as a learning tool in both interactive scenarios and marksmanship practice, working with all of VirTra’s simulators and suites.

Additionally, non-guns can be cost efficient for agencies who do not want to spend extra money refilling CO2 magazines. While recoil kits and CO2 magazines are the most realistic option, they do involve the use of a real weapon and require refilling to maintain the lifelike recoil. If your department is on a tight budget and wants the safety of knowing the training weapon cannot be used to fire real ammunition, the M4/M16 Non-Gun may be a good choice for your agency.

For more information on how to add this customizable and effective law enforcement training tool to your belt, contact a specialist.

Instructors looking for options to supplement range training know to look for the most realistic, high-fidelity training solution. As such, trainers never need to look past VirTra’s products. The V-Marksmanship program—installed on every VirTra simulator—ensures the highest quality for military use, especially when paired with VirTra’s recoil kits and CO2 magazines. With a program and accessories that ensure the most realistic training possible, instructors should consider VirTra as a marksmanship training supplement.

Customizable Range Conditions

Real life is never perfect, so why should a military marksmanship simulator offer only perfect conditions? VirTra’s customizable ranges allow instructors to choose the time of day—including dawn or dusk—to challenge shooters with glare, low light and more. Instructors can also manipulate the range and choose what types of targets to use.

More than the time of day is the weather. Warfighters often find themselves firing in less-than-desirable weather conditions and VirTra’s military training simulations mimic this. Instructors can choose between rain, fog, wind and other types of weather for maximum experience and skill transfer. Wind has an effect on bullet trajectory, so VirTra incorporated a feature to alter wind speed and direction. This ensures trainees are well-prepared for any condition.



At VirTra, we are not afraid to put our equipment to the test. The V-ST PRO® ballistics have been independently verified by third-party experts to reach shooting distances out to 2,000 meters with .02 milliradians accuracy. The V-ST PRO excels in marksmanship training due to its range-like structure and ability to create six firing lanes per screen. Additionally, it provides the option to add up to five screens to train up to 30 servicemembers simultaneously.

Additionally, VirTra’s marksmanship simulations have complete perspective accuracy. A trainee may stand, crouch or lay in a prone position without having to move or tilt their weapon to meet the target.

Upon completion, military members are provided with an in-depth debrief/after-action review of their marksmanship simulation training. This allows trainees and instructors to analyze shot sequences and hit placements down to one-hundredths of a second. Instructors and warfighters can use this tool to observe performance and quickly correct mistakes, thus mitigating training scars.

Military Simulator Accessories

The ranges shown on-screen are only one portion of the high-fidelity marksmanship training offered by VirTra. The rugged recoil kits and CO2 magazines are inserted into the warfighter’s weapon to produce realistic recoil while allowing the firearm to interact with the simulator. Utilizing one’s personal firearm helps in creating a powerful, true-to-life training environment that promotes skill transfer to the field. A firearm will become simulator-ready from removing the weapon’s bolt carrier and inserting the drop-in recoil kit. If the firearm is a pistol, the kit is used as a barrel replacement.

CO2 magazines replicate the weight, size and shape of real magazines to fit perfectly inside your duty weapon. CO2 magazines allow for a long day of training with intense and realistic tools. For more information about the V-Marksmanship program or the weapon accessories, contact a VirTra specialist.

Use of Force Training Simulators Designed with the Military in Mind

VirTra’s goal is to present military agencies state-of-the-art firearms training simulators that teach judgmental use of force. In order to create the best quality military training, VirTra works with experts in both the military and law enforcement fields. These partnerships, in addition to in-house subject matter experts, strengthen our training program that prepare military for the field. Discover how VirTra’s relationships with top military consultants and officials improve our training courses.

Why Consult with Military Experts?

Working with military experts is crucial to the success of our firearms training simulators because they understand the profession better than anyone else. Experts—both in-house and through partnerships—design scenarios, contribute their advice and ideas as the project moves from conception to development. Upon completion, the final scenario is the product of multiple professionals, thus strengthening its educational merit.

Solving Police Issues with Advice from Professionals

Military encounter a wide variety of circumstances, from active threats to green on blue. No matter the incident, VirTra can help your unit prepare. Our experts formulate scenarios to teach proper decision-making under stress. Servicemembers who engage in these scenarios learn how to analyze each side of the situation, note nonverbal cues and disarm potential threats while minimizing harm.

VirTra’s design team consults with expert partners and in-house SME’s on new elements to add to current training and important details that must be added. As a result, our in-depth training stands out in the industry.

Training for Military Personnel with Colonel O’Connell

The military faces insurmountable circumstances daily. To prepare military personnel for such challenges, our in-house military experts work with various teams to develop proper training scenarios. VirTra has cultivated a relationship with Colonel Joe O’Connell, a retired member of the United States Army, who has created a business development firm. With Colonel O’Connell’s help, VirTra has prepared training content based on real-world situations. His field experience allows him to effectively teach sound decision-making under pressure and how to leverage the pros and cons when deciding on a course of action. Thanks to the help of experts in and outside the company, VirTra’s training simulators have never been so comprehensive.

Expert Help Results in the Most Realistic Training

Consulting with military and law enforcement professionals results in some of the most realistic training scenarios in the business. VirTra is proud to produce cutting-edge training for military personnel. These training simulators range from one-screen to 5-screen, 300-degree immersive training environments. Whichever training simulator you choose, your unit will find true-to-life training scenarios that leave your servicemembers more aware of their surroundings and the consequences of their actions.

Better Prepare Your Team with a Military Training Simulator

After military personnel are exposed to realistic training scenarios, they are ready to transfer their newly-learned skills to the field. Even the best lecture series and well-produced training videos cannot compete with the immersive, engaging environment created by military experts. To heighten your unit’s decision-making abilities with expert training, contact VirTra.

Police and military actions are under a great deal of scrutiny due to social media and a 24-hour news cycle. As such, it has become clear that officers and soldiers can benefit from additional, state-of-the-art training. Judgmental use of force and firearms training simulators provide a realistic, yet safe environment, allowing law enforcement and military to practice responding to various stimuli.

No other training—lectures, role playing, drills or boot camp—come close to the realism provided by VirTra’s extensive line of judgmental use of force and firearms training simulations. Ranging from portable to room-sized, each simulator equips the trainee with the tools to make the best possible force decisions on the streets.

  1. How Use of Force Simulators Make Law Enforcement & Military Training More Effective
  2. Creating a 3D Environment in Your Use of Force Simulator
  3. Why a 300-Degree Law Enforcement Simulator is Crucial for Law Enforcement Training
  4. How 3D Space and 4D Time Make Simulation Training Even More Immersive
  5. How Soldiers in the Field Make Better Choices Using a Virtual Simulator
  6. Improving Defenses against Active Threats/Killers with Virtual Firearms Training
  7. Stress-Induced Firearms Training Systems Teach Better Judgement in Tough Situations
  8. Getting the Most out of Virtual Firearms and Use of Force Training with Simulators
  9. Engaging with Top Military Consultants for Better Engagement and Firearms Training Simulator Results
  10. Working with the Force Science Institute for More Realistic Firearms Training Systems

How Use of Force Simulators Make Law Enforcement & Military Training More Effective

Trainers often state that teaching officers and soldiers to make rapid, split-second decisions is a huge undertaking. When seconds count, the proper application of force can save lives. Simulators provide an unsurpassed training environment that immerses officers in real world scenarios while allowing for the full spectrum of force- from officer presence to deadly force. With 300 degrees of immersive, high-stress scenarios unfolding around the officer, it challenges them to make calculated decisions on the fly.

Simulators offer the opportunity to train in difficult situations. Officers train to de-escalate a hostile subject or domestic violence encounter. Military alike train to de-escalate to persuade people, insurgents or bad actors to return to the conditions necessary to resolve conflict. Lectures and role playing are good options for training. However, these options cannot offer a critical component: experiential learning. This element is provided by judgmental use of force and firearms training simulators.

Creating a 3D Environment in Your Use of Force Simulator

The more realistic a simulator is, the more effective the training. Departments create 3D environments within their simulators through the addition of props. Believable props, paired with the 300-degree immersive screens and high-tech sound systems, create real-world environments officers and military personnel might experience in the field.

This addition requires attention to detail. For example, rather than utilizing a chair as a mailbox, trainers should build or purchase a realistic-looking mailbox. Instructors must keep props light and portable so they are easy to manage and move for each scenario. The heavier and more difficult a prop is, the less frequently it will be used. Foam, paper, cardboard, and paint provide a good foundation for creating 3D props.

Download the Complete Guide for How Judgmental Use of Force and Firearms Training Simulators Improve Outcomes for Police and Military

Why a 300-Degree Law Enforcement Simulator is Crucial for Law Enforcement Training

Consider the unique benefits a 300-degree firearms training simulator provides. The sheer number of screens immerses the trainees in the scenarios, where the software challenges them with branching options leading to multiple endings. Instead of being taught through lectures or roleplaying, simulator training actually translates into real-world experience through its realistic, seamless video and multi-directional audio. This exposure to stress and high emotions trains the individual to react appropriately in unfamiliar and difficult situations.

After the scenario is completed, instructors can utilize the debriefing capabilities to show trainees their decisions while inside the simulation and review correct and incorrect actions. The best way for an officer to learn is to review their mistakes and discover how to improve.

How 3D Space and 4D Time Make Simulation Training Even More Immersive

As discussed, judgmental use of force and firearms training simulations must be realistic in order to be effective, which makes 3D space and 4D time critical components to simulator training. With standard training situations, departments place cadets and officers into a simulator, watch their performance and offer a debrief before beginning the process with the next trainee. This pattern offers little variation. However, when instructors take advantage of 3D space and 4D time, training becomes far more realistic and effective.

3D space includes props, such as “walls” to teach cover techniques, which could be a painted cardboard cutout. As the scenario plays out, officers can hide behind the wall and take cover while evaluating their options. By moving props as the simulation evolves, it becomes possible to incorporate the 4D time element for added realism.

How Soldiers in the Field Make Better Choices Using a Virtual Simulator

Soldiers put their lives on the line every day. Because of their dedication, VirTra’s goal is to keep them safe while ensuring they receive the best training to make the best decisions. Through judgmental use of force and firearms training simulations, soldiers can experience and learn from a variety of scenarios based on previous soldiers’ experiences.

The instructor’s ability to recreate any situation gives virtual simulations an advantage over other methods of training. Now, instructors control everything from the weather to the visibility of the enemy’s actions, ensuring the soldier’s learning accounts for every possible variant. Following each scenario, the debrief shows the soldier their actions in the simulation, including stance, muzzle discipline and shot placement. Through regular practice and improvement, soldiers can get the upper hand in any situation.

Improving Defenses against Active Threats/Killers with Virtual Firearms Training

Active killer situations are on the rise across the nation, causing law enforcement officers to receive regular training on handling these situations. The V-300 simulator is an excellent alternative to achieving this goal. Its five screens and multi-directional sound provide realistic visuals and unsurpassed audio for scenario immersion. Additional optional training tools include the Threat-Fire®; a device that simulates return fire which enhances training and realism.

Since it is virtually impossible to predict active threat situations, it is crucial for officers to know the best ways to react to, incapacitate and disarm the suspect in order to save lives. Virtual firearms training simulations mimic the real world, making them a powerful tool in any department’s arsenal.

Stress-Induced Firearms Training Systems Teach Better Judgement in Tough Situations

Clinical studies have shown that when officers are in unfamiliar situations and under a great deal of stress, they sometimes make the wrong judgement call. Training in the classroom cannot recreate the level of stress an officer will experience in the field; therefore, they are not taught how to handle the heightened emotion and make the best decisions.

In this regard, firearms training simulations paired with the Threat-Fire® feedback device makes a significant difference. Instructors can place the Threat-Fire® device on the student officer and provide them with an electrical impulse when the officer makes a critical mistake, like improper scanning or not registering threats quickly. This consequence device teaches officers to anticipate behaviors and choices in the field, resulting in better performance and control.

Getting the Most out of Virtual Firearms and Use of Force Training with Simulators

VirTra simulators are designed to provide the best available simulated reality based training for officers and soldiers. These scenarios are more than “shoot don’t shoot”. Instead, the scenarios are incredibly realistic and highly customizable, and include optional features that allow trainers to create and customize scenarios based on their department’s training needs and guidelines.

One example is how trainers can utilize portable simulators to teach balance and stability in the field when officers lack the time needed to get into the proper firing stance. With bigger, more immersive simulations, the addition of props better represents the environment shown on-screen. Through dozens of branching options, trainers can throw “curveballs” in the form of an unexpected action made by the suspect.

Engaging with Top Military Consultants for Better Engagement and Firearms Training Simulator Results

The reason VirTra’s judgmental use of force and firearms training simulators are effective is that they are designed by law enforcement and military experts. VirTra regularly consults with in-house subject matter experts in addition to military and police departments to ensure the software offers the best possible training. VirTra has made a significant effort to create scenarios and tools better suited for military use by hiring Colonel Joe O’Connell, a retired member of the USAR and CEO of JL O’Connell and Associates.

Colonel O’Connell will refer to his years of experience facilitating relationships with military leaders and decision-makers to find the right personnel to help in creating the best training content. With these relationships, VirTra ensures these simulations will provide ample training to police officers and numerous true-to-life scenarios for the military.

Working with the Force Science Institute for More Realistic Firearms Training Systems

VirTra is dedicated to furthering its commitment to law enforcement training through its partnership with the Force Science Institute. Force Science, which researches human behavior as it applies to high-stress situations and the use of force, has partnered with VirTra to create scholarships for officers to partake in Force Science Certification Courses, create unique courses for police departments utilizing their data and to give a joint presentation at the FBI National Academy Associates’ National Conference.

By working together, VirTra and Force Science strive to create powerful firearms training simulations and use of force scenarios based on proven science, case studies and more. Understanding how people react in stressful situations makes it possible to create better training courses to familiarize officers and soldiers.

Law enforcement and military personnel are charged with protecting civilians and keeping the peace. Often, saving lives—including their own—comes down to making a split-second decision. VirTra’s line of judgmental use of force and firearms training simulations is designed to put offices and soldiers in unique, stress-inducing situations that evolve based on the decisions made in the simulation.

Over time, and through regular training, officers and soldiers can learn how to make the quick critical decisions every time, even in high-stress situations. VirTra, along with its partners, is committed to providing the most innovative, state-of-the-art training situations to department and trainers across the world to prepare their forces for the field.

Download the Complete Guide for How Judgmental Use of Force and Firearms Training Simulators Improve Outcomes for Police and Military

Reportstack has announced a new defence market report on The Global Military Simulation and Virtual Training Systems Market 2014–2024. This report offers detailed analysis of the Global Military Simulation and Virtual Training Market over the next ten years. In particular, it provides an in-depth analysis of:

• Global military simulation and virtual training market size and drivers: detailed analysis of the market for global military simulation and virtual training market during 2014-2024, including highlights of the demand drivers and growth stimulators.

• Recent development and industry challenges: insights into the developments in the global military simulation and virtual training market and a detailed analysis of the changing preferences of military forces around the world. It also analyzes changing industry structure trends and the challenges faced by industry participants. (more…)

DAHLGREN, Va. – The Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) Police Department hosted police officers from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) for advanced tactical training June 19-21. The training was intended to sharpen the officers’ skills in several areas, such as active shooter response. The mini-course included classroom time, practical application, night vision training, live-fire and time in the VirTra Systems simulator.

Bob Brooks, chief of NSASP police, was impressed with the JBAB police officers’ performance. “We offered this course to all the bases in the region, however only JBAB was able to send interested officers,” he said. “The officers that attended from JBAB did an outstanding job and definitely represented their department well. I, as well as all of the other instructors, were very impressed with their abilities, professionalism and enthusiasm.”

For the practical application portion of the course, the JBAB police officers conducted active-shooter response drills inside one of Dahlgren’s buildings. In a maze-like layout, with multiple opposing danger areas, safely is a challenge for any police officer. Though, training can be tailored to all skill levels. (more…)

TEMPE, AZ – Dec 01, 2011 – VirTra Systems is featured in the December issue of Military Technology magazine, a tri-service publication covering aspects of modern defense technology. The cover of Military Technology, designed by VirTra’s Art Director, Brent Barcena showcases the VirTra 300 and Threat-FireTM. The issue also features an interview with John Hinnant, VirTra Systems VP of Business Development.


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