[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               November 28, 2008
Training

WMA introduces new wireless, 
simulated M-4 weapon-firing training

Military personnel looking for an extra edge or hoping to refine their weapon-firing skills now have the option of going through the Wisconsin Military Academy (WMA) Simulation Center at Fort McCoy for training.

Photo: Soldiers train on the M-4 simulation setup at the Wisconsin Military Academy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Soldiers train on the M-4 simulation setup at the Wisconsin Military Academy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Sgt. 1st Class Josh Koch, a simulation specialist for the WMA, said the WMA recently procured a wireless M-4 weapon capability. The M-4s are like M-16s, but they have adjustable stocks and are better suited for use in close-quarters combat.

"These are fast becoming the weapons of choice for deployed Soldiers," Koch said. "The M-4s fit better in their vehicles as well."

WMA also has many other simulation weapon systems, called the Fire Arms Training System (FATS), that can be used to train troops. Koch said these include M-9 pistols, the M-249 machine gun (which is the same caliber as the M-4), the AT-4 rocket launcher, the M-16 with an M-203 grenade launcher and M-16s.

The in-house, Simulation Center firing has several advantages over going to the field to fire, including the fact it doesn’t use bullets and is located in the cantonment area, he said.

"It takes out all the weather factors, such as wind, bad weather such as rain and snow, and other environmental factors and lets personnel concentrate on the basics of firing the weapons so they become proficient in basic rifle marksmanship," Koch said. "Personnel firing the weapons are required to wear the same uniforms and equipment they would if they were firing in the field."

Each weapon allows personnel to sight-in the weapon, and qualify on the WMA simulated ranges, he said. Koch said a computerized system is used to tabulate the scoring and helps personnel improve their shooting. The system ideally is used to prepare troops for live-fire training, he added.

In addition to zeroing and qualifying, the system presents realistic, in-theater scenarios where troops can see and engage ‘enemy’ forces and fire to hit specific targets or objectives. Koch said the FATS system also can be used to provide collective group-firing scenarios.

Photo: Military personnel zero or sight-in wireless, simulated M-4 rifles before simulation firing at the Wisconsin Military Academy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Military personnel zero or sight-in wireless, simulated M-4 rifles before simulation firing at the Wisconsin Military Academy. 
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

The WMA Simulation Center is used to train in-house academy courses first, Koch said. Deployable troops are followed by National Guard/Army Reserve Soldiers in priority.

Units that are interested in using the system are advised to reserve it before coming to Fort McCoy.

All it takes is a phone call. Callers must provide the number of troops to participate in the training and a point of contact.

Koch said this information will be taken, assimilated into the WMA calendar and a time and date will be set up.

For more information about the FATS system, contact Koch at (608) 388-9895.

WMA also has a number of other training scenarios available in its Simulation Center. These include field artillery-related training and convoy training.

For general information about the WMA, visit the Fort McCoy Extranet site, which is available through the public Web site at http://www.mccoy.army.mil, or call WMA at (608) 388-9900.

 

[ Top of Page ]

[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]