Troopers from I Battery, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, got the opportunity to visit the Marine Corps Stinger Missile Trainer in Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 26. The trainer is a 40-foot dome that projects terrain and aircraft in a 360-degree pattern with a 70-degree vertical field of view.
“It really is great training,” said Pvt. Morgan D. Frier. “It allows us some hands-on time to get familiar with the weapon system.”
The training was conducted to certify the Air Defense Artillery troopers on the FIM-92 Stinger Missile. The Stinger is classified as a Man Portable Air Defense System and is an integral part of the Air Defense Corps. Troopers work in two man stinger teams, with a gunner and a team chief who assists in spotting the targets.
“The amazing part about this training is it gives our troopers a safe practical exercise to build their confidence,” said 2nd Lt. Joel Podbereski. “This confidence in the weapon system will have real world applications if and when they are required to engage the enemy in a combat environment.”
Certification for the weapon system is held every six months, with the top teams from the certification getting the chance to fire a live Stinger Missile. To complete the certification, the team has to successfully engage four out of five enemy aircraft, and not have wrongfully engaged a single friendly target.
“It has a very high probability of a hit,” said Sgt. Forrest D. Zimmer. “That why it’s important to get out here to eliminate any operator errors, so we can effectively use the weapon system.”
The training and certification ended July 27, with a plaque of appreciation to the 3rd LAAD Battalion, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, for the not only the use of the facility but the training and knowledge they were able to provide.