By Michelle Milliner, ARL-HRED STTC

Dr. Daniel Gerstein, Under Secretary for Science and Technology (S&T), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recently visited the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Human Research and Engineering Directorate’s Simulation and Training Technology Center (ARL-HRED STTC).

Chuck Amburn, ARL-HRED STTC engineer, demonstrates the Augmented Reality Sandtable to Dr. Daniel Gerstein during his visit and tour to the STTC in Orlando.

Chuck Amburn,(left) ARL-HRED STTC engineer, demonstrates the Augmented Reality Sandtable to Dr. Daniel Gerstein during his visit and tour to the STTC in Orlando.

Gerstein was introduced to the unique relationships within Team Orlando and the modeling and simulation corridor that maximizes returns on minimal funds. ARL-HRED STTC engineers provided key program briefings and hands-on demonstrations in various technical areas such as medical, terrain generation tools and the work conducted at the Institute for Creative Technologies in California.

However, the primary focus for the visit was to discuss partnership between DHS S&T, the Training and Doctrine Command and ARL-HRED STTC. Last year, the teams developed a training technology to improve first responder training capabilities and enhance coordination across multiple agencies, disciplines, and jurisdictions utilizing the Army’s existing Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment platform, better known as EDGE.

In November 2013, first responders in Sacramento, California, tested the pilot scenario that provided a training platform for law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire, unified command, and dispatch to virtually train on a simulated active shooter response at a local hotel. The platform allows first responders from across jurisdictions to navigate geo-specific terrain; utilize ultra-high resolution vehicles, equipment, and tools to execute on-site protocols and procedures; evacuate innocent bystanders; and apprehend the suspect(s). The scenario has met with great success and DHS S&T funded an effort to harden or productize the level in order that exercises can be conducted anytime anywhere.

Gerstein stated that it was “heart-warming to hear that first responders were able to start figuring out things during the exercise.”