Hyper-Realistic® Training

Strategic Operations Inc. (STOPS), defines Hyper-Realistic® as “such a high degree of fidelity in the replication of battlefield conditions in a training environment that participants so willingly suspend disbelief that they become totally immersed and eventually stress inoculated".

The following flow chart depicts how STOPS transforms ordinary training scenarios into Hyper-Realistic® training scenarios. STOPS uses all the techniques of the theater, TV, and film industry - "The Magic of Hollywood” – to enhance live training in a way that is unique in the world (see the lower “lane” in the flow chart).

However, employing Hollywood techniques is not enough. Two additional ingredients are necessary: The first is an understanding of and expertise in, tactics, techniques, and procedures (See the middle “lane” in the flow chart). The second is to integrate Hyper-Realistic® training – all the proprietary techniques, methods, procedures, and ideals that enable the effect to be not only extremely realistic, but dynamic, interactive, and repeatable.

The Value of Hyper-Realistic® Training

Large numbers of personnel can experience life threatening and traumatic conditions/situations in a training environment that truly reflects real world conditions, but in a controlled, duplicatable, and dynamic setting.

A Defense Science Board study found that 50 percent of all casualties in war occur in the first five to six significant exposures to combat. After this exposure, the rate drops to less than 6 percent. At the STOPS Tactical Training Laboratory – equipment, methods, and tactics can be tested - in real world conditions - without the real-world casualties. This is the value of Hyper-Realistic® training.

Researchers from the Naval Health Research Center studied Marines training in the Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA. They evaluated training participants for stress reactivity, mitigation, and inoculation. The researchers measured salivary cortisol and alpha amylase levels in Marines prior to - and after - immersion in this Hyper-Realistic® environment. Results in this on-going study found that the “acute stress response to the IIT training is substantial". Salivary hormone levels also found that this type of “IIT training provided a stress inoculation effect” (“Stress Reactions and Mitigation in Immersive Training", 31 March 2009).