While computers have been used by the military in creating simulations and training operators in the use of equipment, this is the first time I've seen something from the gaming world make it into production like this. The US Navy is using an Xbox controller to operate the periscope on Virginia-class submarines.
According to a report at The Virginian Pilot, Virginia-class submarines don’t have a traditional periscope that only one person can look through at a time. They use a pair of photonics masts that rotate 360 degrees that capture hi-res images that are sent to large monitors that everyone in the control room can see. Until recently, they were controlled with a stick that wasn't liked.
Even the next generation of operators have grown up with gaming consoles, it makes sense to use devices and interfaces that they're familiar with.
What other control devices can you think of that would work better with a gaming controller or some other input or control device?