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