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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Could War Simulations Help Prevent PTSD?

photo
Electrician's Mate 1st Class Jerry Gonzales explains a simulated damaged berthing compartment aboard the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator USS Trayer to Rear Adm. David F. Baucom, commander of Troop Support at Defense Logistics Agency, Dec. 1, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)Sailors salute while manning the rails of USS Trayer during the commissioning ceremony for the Navy's newest simulator, June 18, 2007. (U.S. Navy photo by Mr. Scott A. Thornbloom)Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Juan M. Garcia III walks through one of the simulated bomb-damaged berthing areas on board USS Trayer. July 27, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus tours the control center of the battle stations training simulator USS Trayer while visiting Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, July 16, 2009. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien)Utilitiesman 1st Class Michael Johnson, left, a Recruit Division Commander at Recruit Training Command, explains a simulated damaged berthing compartment aboard the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator USS Trayer to 56 master, senior and chief petty officers from the 3rd Fleet Area of Responsibility, Nov. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)Recruits board USS Trayer for a night of simulated underway training during Battle Stations 21 at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, May 15, 2007. (U.S. Navy photo by S.A. Thornbloom)Chief Boatswain's Mate Donald Walker shows a bomb damaged berthing compartment on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator, USS Trayer, to Royal Australian Navy officers and U.S. Navy officers from Washington, Dec. 4, 2009. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)

The Navy’s USS Trayer has been called the unluckiest ship in the fleet because it’s constantly under attack.

At least it feels that way to new recruits, who spend 12 hours on the $60-million training ship as part of a simulation that mimics the chaos and fear of war.

With floods and fires, the exercise looks and feels real – and that’s the idea.

The military’s hoping that these kinds of simulations will help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by prepping the “warrior brain” for what war is really like.

Do you think the war simulations will help prevent PTSD? Let us know on Facebook.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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