The US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers have conducted operational testing of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  

The test was part of the Army’s plan to equip infantry soldiers with mixed reality headsets.

For the purpose, the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) rehearsed combat missions under various weather conditions.

The IVAS headset has the capability to integrate several technologies to keep soldiers efficient on the battlefield. 

Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st PIR, 1st IBCT, 82nd Airborne Division commander captain Roberto Huie said the new technology will be a ‘huge benefit’ for the soldiers.

He said: “Such a system will significantly improve reaction time for unit leaders who make decisions under the stress of battle.”

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As per Program Executive Office Soldier, the IVAS may soon combine 24/7 situational awareness tools and high-resolution digital sensors.

This will support troops with enhanced sensing, decision-making, target acquisition, and engagement.

Opposing force and Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st PIR, 1st IBCT, 82nd Airborne Division commander captain Phillip Johnston said as part of the test, the soldiers were able to plan, rehearse, and execute nine different missions.

He said: “We trained at a level […] we have not seen previously in the Army.

“It was invaluable to have an outside look into the company from the Operational Test Command without having the pressure of graded evaluations that normally come with training events.”

In October 2021, the US Army postponed its plan to field Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) to 2022.