Defense

September 2, 2014

Sill simulator trains Stinger crews

Tags:
Marie Berberea
Fort Sill, Okla.

Army National Guardsmen Spec. Gabe Lindley of North Dakota holds a Man-Portable Air Defense System while Spc. Stephen Shafer from Ohio points to a possible enemy aircraft. The two trained Aug. 21, 2014, inside the Improved Moving Target Simulator at Fort Sill, Okla.

Inside the Improved Moving Target Simulator, Fort Sill, Okla.’s newest Avenger crew members are encapsulated in training necessary to take down enemy aerial targets.

The Improved Moving Target Simulator, or IMTS, is a high-tech simulator that recently underwent renovations from its previous model, the Joint Fires Multipurpose Dome.

Earl Bailey, Avenger Stinger Schoolhouse equipment specialist, said the upgrades fixed glitches in the old software.

“We’d be in the middle of training and it would just shut down. And the graphics were not as clear as some of these graphics are.”

He said they can also incorporate the latest real-world threats into simulations to keep the training up-to-date.

“We can add the drones and everything into this one where the other one we didn’t have the capability.”

The main differences between the Joint Fires Multipurpose Dome and the IMTS are wireless Man-Portable Air Defense Weapon systems, known as MANPADS, no bunkers for more movement on the platform, fewer cameras, upgraded binoculars and less panels for a seamless skyline.

“Pretty stoked about getting to actually see the system and hold it and fire it for the first time,” said Spec. Gabe Lindley of North Dakota.

As far as choosing 14S as his military occupational specialty, Spc. Stephen Shafer from Ohio said, “It was either graphing maps or blowing stuff up. So I decided to pick the fun one.
It’s a blast.”

The students go through three weeks of the course before they are allowed inside the simulator. During that time they train on visual aircraft recognition, preventive maintenance checks and services, and how to use the MANPADS.

They also memorize 50 types of aircraft taking in the difference in wings and other markings that will help them make the right decision in firing or holding fire.

Once inside the simulator, the students spend 72 hours training as a two-person team on a variety of missions.

“They have to learn to think quick, because the aircraft are moving pretty fast, depending on the scenarios. The system is pretty advanced. We can actually modify the aircrafts’ speeds and create our own scenarios and challenge them,” said Staff Sgt. Victor Alvarado, instructor.

Many soldiers coming through the course are in the National Guard and will be assigned to the National Capitol Region mission in Washington, D.C.

Once there they will use their skills to guard the White House and other buildings of high security.

“The main goal of this simulation is to take everything they learn and incorporate it in here and just execute so when they go out into the operational force they’re trained to do this task,” said Alvarado.

The IMTS operators can put civilian or military aircraft, as well as unmanned aircraft systems into the simulations to keep students on their toes.

“It builds that confidence up that, hey, I can go out there, I can sit on a rooftop and if I needed to, shoot down an enemy aircraft,” said Alvarado.

While different targets zoomed across the screen, subwoofers rattled the platform to put out a realistic rumble inside the dome.

With all of the sensory information put out the Soldiers were expected to correctly perform the steps in their training: detect the target, identify friend or foe, activate, tone, uncage the seeker, super elevate and fire.

“I like the teamwork. Being on a two man crew instead of having to be on a bigger squad … The choice is really up to you on shooting an aircraft down or not. I think it’s better that way It’s faster,” said Schafer.

While the students receive realistic training, the entire system also saves the Army a lot of money.

SFC Christian Wilson, Avenger Stinger Schoolhouse chief of academics, said they train 300-400 students a year. A live Stinger missile costs $120,000 to shoot. With each student having to accurately take down five enemy targets to pass, the simulator saves at least $600,000 per student.

“It’s kind of a relief. Instead of sitting in front of books learning about it I actually got to pick it up and use it and build confidence in what we’re going to be doing later on down the road,” said Shafer.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>