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May 11, 2012

Training

New convoy training simulation equipment available at WMA

New Virtual Convoy Operations Trainer (VCOT) computer software, equipment and trailer at the Wisconsin Military Academy (WMA) will help support training needs for the Wisconsin Army National Guard and other servicemembers.

Master Sgt. Joshua Koch, an Army National Guard Range Operations Specialist for the 426th Training Site Command (WMA), said the system is an upgrade from the previous VCOT system at the WMA.
PHOTO: A Soldier from the Warrior Training Center performs quality control on the new Virtual Convoy Operations Training equipment received at Fort McCoy. Photo by Rob Schuette
Staff Sgt. Mel Owen of C Company, Warrior Training Center at Fort Benning, Ga., performs quality control on the new Virtual Convoy Operations Training equipment received at Fort McCoy. William Bacon, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle instructor, maintainer, operator, observes the process. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

The equipment features many updated capabilities, such as a dismounted scenario and a turret that includes a tethered M16, which allows for a more-dependable power source. The trailer is more winterized and will provide additional comfort for training during colder weather, Koch said.

VCOT has the capability to replicate specific locations and battlefield terrain in a computer projection program. Koch said the new equipment was fielded by Raydon, and was taught to WMA staff.

Staff Sgt. Mel Owen of C Company, Warrior Training Center at Fort Benning, Ga., provided quality control and ensured the new system and equipment did what it was supposed to do before the transfer to the 426th was completed and approved.

“When the facility is open for training, it can provide training with four weapons systems, in a crawl, walk and run scenario,” Owen said. “Trainees can use the weapons to acquire and engage targets.”

William Bacon, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle instructor, maintainer, operator, said the weapons include MK19 Grenade Launchers, and M2 .50-caliber, M249 and M240B machine guns.

Students using the equipment can determine how accurately they are firing the equipment and also can use the system for qualification training, Bacon said.

Owen said the system also offers individual gunnery training, where students can go through a lesson plan to learn the capabilities and how to use different weapons systems to engage the enemy.

“The computer simulation equipment can tell the students if they’re firing high or low,” Owen said. “Different weapons also can be used in each of the four vehicle options.”

The new setup has four simulated vehicles to be used in convoy operations. The vehicles are interchangeable between two types of Humvees, a Heavy Equipment Mobile Transport (HEMT) vehicle and a HEMT fueler.

Koch said Wisconsin Army National Guard personnel will have priority use of the system, however, other military personnel and other agencies also can schedule its usage.

For more information about the system or to schedule training with the VCOT, call Koch at 608-388-9908.

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