The issue is not VR but how to combine the real equipment (the tactile) with the environment (the visual). Ideally a simulator allows someone to operate the "real" equipment while providing a visual display similar to what they see in real life, A flight simulator, for example, provides a real cockpit with 3 degrees of movement and provides a visual display of the environment they would see if they were actually flying so they "move" throughout the environment as if it were real by combining tactile and visual feedback in response to their actions. The advantage a simulator has is you can stop and replay the results to teach the person and show them what went well or wrong immediately without adverse results. It doesn't replace doing it for real but allows for making mistakes without adverse results. It also, if done right, can provide realistic training at a lower cost. I've come out of control room and fire control simulator seasons in such environments as sweaty and with as much a pucker factor as if it were real. For a less stressful example, a while back I got to play with a simulation that used fake bullets to allow you to fire hand held weapons at a target to practice shooting. While it wasn't a perfect simulation of say an M16, it let you fire a lot more rounds to gain proficiency which coupled with real rounds at a range, helped maintain your skill. You didn't have to get range time and fire expensive, and thus limited, rounds, compared to the simulator bullets, so you could practice a lot more and at more convenient times than at a range. The Army's problem is they have to many simulators without thinking how to integrate simulation with real world experience and in some cases replaced the tactile feedback with virtual simulations, at least that's what I got from the article, and at a higher cost in some cases based on actual use.