The ILEETA Challenge is a physical exertion, driving, and shooting competition using the FAAC DrivingForce simulation training system. DrivingForce consists of both driver and force options training simulation systems.
This year's challenge consisted of a period of physical exercise, a high-speed pursuit of a domestic assault suspect, followed by an active shooter interaction at the IES MILO force options simulator.
Drake Oldham, training officer with the Ohio Attorney General's office, was the winner of the 2012 Challenge. Oldham said the complexity of the scenario created by the simulation systems was as beneficial for the Challenge event as it is for the training room, according to the company.
"We would definitely benefit from more of this type of simulation at the academy," Oldham said.
While it was difficult to provide an in-depth evaluation of the DrivingForce system after such a short interaction with it, Oldham said the amount of requirements necessary for a high score in the challenge was impressive. Use of seatbelts, radio communication, clearing intersections, handling traffic, and communicating with dispatch all served to create a high-stress, intense driving experience. He added that for a training program he would put his state's driving codes into the training scenarios so officers could practice to the standard they will be held to on the road.
FAAC Public Safety Specialist Chuck Deakins, who created and conducted the challenge, said this event encapsulated the equivalent of a full-cycle training event in the FAAC DrivingForce simulation training system.
"We started the challenge with physical exertion to increase the competitors' heart rates, similar a foot chase or a struggle with a subject," Deakins said.
The scenario then moved to the arrest of the subject in a domestic assault. As the subject is being detained, the other half of the dispute drives by in a pickup, fires two shots and flees the scene. The competitors enter the driver training simulator and go into pursuit of the pickup. The pickup stops in a dead end, exits, and fires another round at the competitor. The competitor exits the driving simulator and moves into the force option simulator where a fire-fight ensues.
Students were scored on seatbelt use, activation of lights and siren, radio usage, navigating through traffic, and suspect neutralization.
"The level of competition was very high, and that is a testament to these officers’ own commitment to themselves and their skillsets," Deakins said. "In fact, we had to use a tie-breaker to determine the winner this year."
FAAC Business Developer Bill Martin said the DrivingForce system is a good tool to evaluate trainee responses to stressful events.
"One reason why DrivingForce is such a powerful training tool is that instructors can allow students to fail or act improperly in the scenario, so an instructor can provide the proper remedy," Martin said. "Mostly, we learn from our mistakes, not our successes, so the simulator is the best training tool out there to unearth improper activity so it can be corrected before these officers face the same encounter on the street."