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UK soldiers use iPad app to train for Afghan operations

At the Royal School of Artillery in Wiltshire, UK, troops have been learning how to manage a fire mission (firing artillery at the enemy from several miles away) with the help of iPads. Early reports indicate that the technique has accelerated their learning.

BBC Radio's Newsbeat had an exclusive look at new training being given to these soldiers. One trainee described the app as a nice alternative to classwork. "This has been designed to let us practice," said Lance Bombardier Jason Markham, "that when we get out there into theatre we're a lot slicker. It makes it more fun instead of being sat in a classroom looking at a presentation being given information."

Training officer Major Rich Gill, who assisted with the app's deployment, sees additional benefits, calling it a way to reduce training time and more quickly prepare troops for their time in Afghanistan as well as their return home.

The group that developed the training app is also working on a 3D app for new pilots. It's an interesting use of the technology and emphasises the notion that the iPad's best feature is the fact that it's a blank slate for developers. Whatever app it's running, that's what it becomes.

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