Tankers 1 Cavalry division of the U.S. Army, stationed in Fort hood, Texas, playing multiplayer online games to hone fighting skills and keep fit. Their choice is War Thunder. In the game they use a full tank units tactics and real combat procedures.
Soldiers, like all ordinary people, is not immune to COVID-19 (in the United States Army to date, recorded 4912 cases and 2 deaths). According to military regulations, a sufficiently large number of cases in one unit makes it not subject to the mobilization. Therefore, the command takes the soldiers to the regime of “protection of manpower” (similar to civil isolation) and sends to train at military bases. Including in online games and simulators.
Here is how a normal game day, the soldiers in the 1st Cavalry division:
The day starts with a briefing from the platoon commander, followed by hearings. These include, for example, required reading of the training manuals. Then the crews get together online and start training. At the end of the day there is a debriefing to discuss the daily “fight” and methods of optimization tactics.
Interesting caveat – the game in War Thunder allows the crew members to look at collaboration from a new angle. The fact that each member of the standard crew (commander, gunner, loader and driver) in the game gets its own tank and trying on all these roles at once. For example, the loader, who usually sees nothing but the shutter of the main gun, suddenly becomes a tank commander and sees the whole picture of the battlefield entirely. Now he has to consider the tactics of his car and seamlessly integrate into the maneuvers of a platoon.
Another interesting nuance – tankers 1 Cavalry division in life have real combat experience, but the game must start from the lower technical level (in the photo you can see the soldier units, who plays on a medium tank M2, which refers to the 30-th years of last century and outdated even before the outbreak of the Second world war). Gradually, the soldiers raise their level and get to the “real” cars, like the familiar M1A2 Abrams tanks – but it requires serious effort and time.
M2 tank during combat operations, January 1941