Development of a valid simulation assessment for a military dismounted assault task
The Australian Defence Force is currently developing physical standards commensurate with job demands. Vital to this development process has been the accurate profiling of common military tasks. One such task required of all dismounted combat soldiers, an offensive assault on an enemy force, was the subject of in-depth profiling. In addition to overall assault performance, potential differences among patrol roles (scout, gunner, and flank) were investigated. Three different mock assaults of 100 to 150 m were performed by three patrols comprising qualified experienced infantry soldiers. Each soldier was fitted with a heart rate monitor and wore a global positioning device. Average assault duration was 6.5 minutes and required nineteen 7-m bounds performed on a 22-seconds duty cycle at 75% heart rate reserve and a work to rest ratio 1:4. Assaults conducted in more densely vegetated terrain resulted in significantly reduced (p < 0.05) bound distance, bound duration, and movement velocity. Results indicated significant performance differences (p < 0.05) among patrol roles for external load carried, heart rate response, bound duration, and distance covered while movement velocity was not different (p > 0.05). As a result of profiling the assault task, a valid simulation capable of assessing soldiers' physical capacity to perform this task was developed.