Soldiers Practice Virtual War Skills

A new simulator being used by soldiers at Fort Bragg brings the sights and sounds of a gun battle on a desert highway in Iraq to troops stateside so they can better prepare for war.

The Virtual Combat Convoy Trainer (search) — or VCCT — connects soldiers' weapons to a computer in a central control room. There, technicians can monitor the battle and even place new obstacles in the path of Humvees. Humvees can be linked to up to three other simulated vehicles, creating a virtual convoy that allows up to 20 soldiers to train in the same exercise in real time.

"We really haven't seen anything of this capability. And some would tell you it is as good or better than a live fire exercise," said U.S. Army Capt. Brian Strider.

The VCCT was created by Lockheed-Martin (search) and Firearms Training Systems (search) to better prepare U.S. troops for what they might encounter in Iraq — everything from mechanical breakdowns to attacks by insurgents in plainclothes.

"The big advantage is after you go through a scenario, you can go back and play back every action that was taken," said Ron Mohling of Firearms Training Systems. "You can play back all of the decision, so the troops in the training process can go back and see where they made mistakes."

With 2,000 soldiers trained in virtual combat at Fort Bragg, Army officials expect fewer casualties on the real battlefield.

Click on the video box above for the complete story by FOX News' Jonathan Serrie.