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January 11, 2013


Dismounted Soldier Training System helps support 181st mission

Members of the 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy trained on the Dismounted Soldier Training System (DSTS) simulation equipment at the installation to help support their mission of preparing units and Soldiers for deployment.
PHOTO: Soldiers train with the Dismounted Soldier Training System. Photo by Rob Schuette
Members of the 3rd, 340 Infantry Battalion of the 181st Infantry Brigade train with the Dismounted Soldier Training System. Mike Borchers, a system operator seated at a computer station in the foreground, helps coordinate scenarios.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

The system consists of computer equipment and programming and simulated Army equipment. DSTS provides an immersive virtual training environment for Soldiers to conduct dismounted Soldier operations in an operational environment. Military personnel from any branch of service with a land mission can benefit from using the system.

Capt. Joshua Sisson, 181st operations officer (S-3), said the 181st’s mission is to train Reserve and National Guard Soldiers for contingency operations anywhere in the world. The DSTS adds a new tool to the unit’s arsenal to ensure those units are properly trained.

Capt. Adam Kirschling, the team officer in charge for the 3rd, 340th Infantry Battalion of the 181st, said unit members conducted new equipment training on the DSTS to keep current in available simulation training.

“Two 3rd, 340th Soldiers received more-extensive training on the system before the unit training session,” Kirschling said. “That will allow them to act as train-the-trainers for other unit members.”

PHOTO: Soldiers check and adjust Dismounted Soldier Training System equipment. Photo by Rob Schuette
Soldiers from the 3rd, 340th Infantry Battalion of the 181st Infantry Brigade check and adjust Dismounted Soldier Training System equipment before a training session using the simulation equipment.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Kirschling and other 3rd, 340th Soldiers using the DSTS for the first time described it as similar to playing a video game. Personnel had to get used to placing the visual equipment a proper distance from their eyes, Kirschling said.

The training is realistic to the degree that it allows users to see their counterparts and the terrain, shoot and practice communication techniques, he said.

“This is better than going to the field and having the mission where you would engage and shoot at pop-up targets,” Kirschling said. The weapons are the same weight as the real ones and the equipment worn to use the system is about the same weight as body armor.

The system can help units prepare before engaging in a situation or field training exercise, he said.

The system interface will be familiar to younger leaders as it is similar to video games, and will help them work on squad-level tactics, Kirschling said.

“It’s pretty lifelike, and teaches the basics,” Kirschling said. “You load magazines in the weapons as you would do in real life and the weapons fire like they would in the field.”

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Anys of the 3rd, 340th said the new equipment will support the unit’s mission because it offers realistic training scenarios and good practice on communicating with fellow Soldiers.

Sgt. 1st Class Paul Hamako of the 3rd, 340th said DSTS provided good training opportunities.

“It will be a better training event after we have more practice on the system,” Hamako said.

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