Professionals, train to properly identify their target before shooting, but have you done that while wearing night vision? Most units have not, or at best, conducted force-on-force training while wearing night vision. Unfortunately, personal protective equipment such as, face mask, helmet, and neck protector make facial recognition of a target extremely difficult.
During a conversation with the lead trainer of the largest county in Oregon, the question was raised, "what if a deputy were to shoot the wrong person while wearing night vision? How many training hours were documented while performing a target ID process on NOD's?"
Hostage rescue missions conducted by elite military and law enforcement units typically employ a two-step target identification process, that entails facial recognition, followed by "hands". Simply looking for a threat in the hands is a flawed process in some situations, that has lead to blue-on-blue engagements. Every operator is likely to find themselves in a potential blue-on-blue situation. Some of the target characters have been created with this thought in mind, and with the intent of eliminating the potentiality of blue-on-blue engagements.
HVT Targets present an unusual training opportunity that allows the operator to properly identify the target and the threat prior to pressing the trigger during live fire training. This is not possible, or difficult to perform during force-on-force training due to the hindrance of PPE. Additionally, to prevent a particular HVT target character from being immediately recognized as a threat, the weapon in the hands may be eliminated with the use of overlays (available on handgun and knife threat targets). Through repetition, the operator ingrains a target ID process that can be relied upon under stress.
Viewing through night vision is like placing two tiny TV screens in front of your eyes, or possibly one tiny TV screen, if the operator is wearing a monocular. No one should be expected to perform a proper target ID process under the stress of real-world conditions, while wearing night vision, unless that person has had adequate training.
The brain will adapt and learn if given the opportunity. (Author) When I was a teenager in the 1980's I had a 13 inch television in my room. The TV was technically black & white, however I watched in color, and would interpret the shades of grey, as blue's, red's and greens. Similarly, many will say, "there is no depth perception on NOD's," which like the black & white TV, may be technically correct, however over time, and with extensive training on NOD's, the brain will learn to reliably perform spatial reasoning tasks related to depth perception.All good trainers strive to provide training that the best training possible. Extraordinary trainers, will go to great lengths to provide the most realistic training in all ways, including the best training aides possible. A person's performance under stress, and in real-world situations directly corresponds to the training previously conducted.