Moth+Flame partners with US Air Force to launch Virtual Reality sexual assault prevention and response training

In Virtual Reality News

July 20, 2021 – Moth+Flame, a developer of immersive training technology, has recently announced that its Virtual Reality (VR) sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) training platform has been officially deployed by the United States Air Force (USAF).

Utilizing Moth+Flame’s VR training platform, the immersive training program was first introduced to Airmen at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. According to Moth+Flame, the three-part multifaceted curriculum is designed to tackle many sides of a complex issue, including intervention skills, victim advocacy, and reporting protocols.

“We take a great deal of pride in helping the armed forces develop smarter, safer, and more responsive teams through immersive training. This is such an important issue, and by bringing people into environments where they have to confront difficult situations, we can help prepare them for when these scenarios arise in the real world,” said Kevin Cornish, CEO and Founder of Moth+Flame. “The Air Force has been a tremendous partner in working with us to address these complex and serious issues head on with training that improves how people respond to these types of situations.”

The sexual assault prevention and response training features conversational simulations that leverage natural language processing technology, allowing virtual trainees to respond in real-time to spoken dialogue. The solution helps to train Air Force personnel to physically say out loud the right words in difficult conversations, as opposed to selecting a text-based answer from a list of options, which Moth+Flame states offers a more effective style of learning. The company added that the training comes at a crucial time as the most recent annual report from the Department of Defense indicates that the Air Force received a total of 1,661 reports of sexual assault in 2020.

“The future of sexual assault prevention and response training should be innovative and creative. Virtual reality as a training tool puts Airmen into real world life situations where they can build knowledge, skills and abilities,” commented Carmen Schott, Air Mobility Command Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program Manager. “Through experiencing SAPR training in the virtual world, the Airmen have to be present and connected to the experience.  Our mission is collect relevant data to show that Airmen prefer this type of training over normal classroom training and that we can track to see that they enhance comprehension of key sexual assault reporting options and resources to better equip them to intervene and help other Airmen in need. We want to show that this type of training is not only relevant but effective in educating our Airmen on sexual assault prevention and response reporting options and resources.”

The training’s content modules will include:

  • Two 30-minute role-play scenarios intended for all Air Force personnel, in which the user helps a victim of sexual assault connect with appropriate resources as well as practice bystander intervention skills;
  • One 30-minute role-play scenario intended for Volunteer Victim Advocates, who provide immediate and ongoing support to victims with resources and information regarding care and reporting options to improve their interaction skills;
  • One 30-minute role-play scenario intended for Squadron Leadership to correctly apply Air Force guidance when confronted with evidence of a sexual assault in the workplace.

The contract for the training was awarded through the AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and follows on from a successful pilot training program Moth+Flame recently completed at Sacramento’s Travis Air Force Base in military suicide prevention.

The content of the training was developed in conjunction with Air Mobility Command’s Integrated Resiliency Team. Moth+Flame added that the training is expected to be utilized at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas later this summer. For more information on Moth+Flame and its VR training solutions, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Moth+Flame / US Air Force

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.