Students get virtual tour of Navy rescue

Kile Brewer
Posted 11/8/17

FLEMING ISLAND – Fleming Island High student Elliot Mendez walked out of a trailer on campus with a smile on his face on Tuesday.

Mendez, a cadet in the school’s Fleming Island High School …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Students get virtual tour of Navy rescue

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – Fleming Island High student Elliot Mendez walked out of a trailer on campus with a smile on his face on Tuesday.

Mendez, a cadet in the school’s Fleming Island High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, was one of the students who got a glimpse of simulated Navy life. Thanks to virtual reality technology, he was able to step into the shoes of a Navy boat captain tasked with rescuing a cadre of Navy SEALs.

The simulator was brought to the school campus Nov. 7 after the weekend-long air show at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The air show hosted the U.S. Navy’s virtual reality simulator, a portable trailer complete with Oculus Rift goggles, and SubPac backpack systems that allow participants to feel vibrations and provide a fully-immersive experience. The simulator operates as a recruitment tool and tours the country for large events and air shows.

Once the air show came to an end, the simulator didn’t have anywhere to go for a few days, so the Navy reached out to FIHS to see if they would like to have the simulator brought on campus for their NJROTC class.

“What I like about this particular unit is that it is smaller and more cozy. It brings kids together with technology and introduces them to actual Navy recruiters who know Navy life,” said Heather Ewton, the Navy’s public affairs officer for the regional recruiting district. “The simulation shows kids the capabilities of the navy and exposes them to future career opportunities. It shows them that when you join the Navy you aren’t just a sailor on a ship.”

One of the Fleming Island JROTC instructors, Jeff Barlow, was on site to supervise cadets from Fleming Island, as well as those from the Middleburg High School NJROTC program who were invited to participate as well. Barlow, a first-year teacher at FIHS, was excited to hear that the simulator would be coming to their school.

“This is a really good opportunity for them to check out what the Navy has to offer,” Barlow said. “The more these kids see and the more they are exposed to will make them better able to choose which route to take in life.”

The simulator isn’t all that different from popular military-based video games, but the added value of the VR goggles, immersive sound and the SubPac, in addition to using a real steering wheel and throttle, creates a different environment from someone’s living room game console setup.

Before heading to his next class, Mendez only had one suggestion for how to improve the simulation, “I wish it was longer!”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment