Skip to main content

 US Army: squad tactics tested on new virtual marksmanship trainer

Soldiers from the U.S. 10th Mountain Division were some of the first units to test the Squad Advanced Marksmanship-Trainer system 20-21 March, 2019. Capt. Matthew Pargett reports on the US Army’s website.

Virtual training systems improve marksmanship skills
Soldiers from the U.S. 10th Mountain Division were some of the first units to test the Squad Advanced Marksmanship-Trainer system (Photo Credit: Sgt. Phillip Tross )

Beginning with weapons familiarization on the M4 carbine, M249 light machine gun and M9 Beretta pistol simulated weapon systems, soldiers from the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion commented on the differences between SAM-T and other training systems. "It was a lot different from what I was expecting," said Pfc. Sean Jacobs. "I thought it was going to be an expanded EST [Engagement Skills Trainer], but it turned out to be something entirely different. This new program delves into more squad tactics and is not a static engagement."

While conducting squad movements, soldiers could maneuver through physical obstacles while reacting to an on-screen virtual simulation. "We weren't tethered to anything like we are at an EST, so we could move freely when doing squad-level drills with a wall-sized screen," said Sgt. Micah Yaklich. "The weapons, and even the magazines, had the same weight and feel of our regular systems." 

Using the system's ability to simulate different training scenarios, such as room-clearing, the squads that participated were able to react to the on-screen avatars controlled by a system-operator nearby. "In a five-man team, you have different scenarios and on-screen characters that interact with you, such as civilians and enemy who respond differently through the training," said Pfc. Jacobs.

At the end of the training, the soldiers shared their thoughts on the SAM-T system. "I think everyone needs to go through it ... infantrymen, truck drivers, cooks, everyone, because at the end of the day you're a rifleman first," said Pfc. Blake Smith.

Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam