MARIEN CORPS AIR STATION YUMA,Ariz. -- The station Marksmanship Training Unit’s new Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer is now ready for firing.
The new ISMT, which up and running Sept. 23, is more realistic then it’s predecessor, said Sgt. Anthony R. Rodriguez, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron MTU ISMT noncommissioned officer.
“The old one was a dinosaur,” said Rodriquez, a native of Santa Maria, Calif. “It just doesn’t compare to the new system. The old one is like Atari and the new one is like a (Playstation 2). There’s that much of a difference.”
“The old system as been in use since (the year) two thousand, and it wasn’t new back then,” said Sgt. Terrance A. Beadles, H&HS MTU marksmanship instructor.
The main purpose of the ISMT is to make it easier for the range coaches to help shooters who are having trouble qualifying on the range, said Beadles a native of Phoenix.
If, while out on the rifle range, a coach notices a Marine struggling to grasp the concepts of marksmanship, that Marine will be invited to come to the ISMT so the coaches can closer determine what it is the shooter is doing wrong.
“The ISMT helps us see where Marines are struggling,” said Beadles. “It lets us view that Marine at a closer level and makes it easier to spot the problems he is having.”
“The new ISMT has so many different features on it,” said Rodriquez. “With the new machine, we have the ability to see how Marines react in urban environments, and also outdoor settings other than the (known distance) range.”
The new ISMT does offer a lot of new backdrops for Marines to shoot at. However, that isn’t the only new feature this machine has.
“Along with all the new area’s for Marines to shoot in, there’s also numerous things you can do in this new ISMT,” said Beadles.
“With the new ISMT, there will be people on screen reacting to what you are doing,” said Rodriquez. “If a guy (on screen) pops up in a window, by the time you sight in and get ready to fire, he may have already moved on, either back down, to another window or anywhere else on the screen.”
According to Rodriquez, the new ISMT works with different weapons to help improve Marines’ abilities with more then one weapon. The ISMT offers scenarios for the M-16A2 service rifle, the M-9 pistol, the M-249 squad automatic weapon, the M-2 .50 caliber machine gun, the MK-19 40MM automatic grenade launcher and the MP-5 submachine gun.
“Even though not every Marine on station uses all these weapons, it’s always good to familiarize yourself with the weapons you may be issued while in the field,” said Beadles.
The new ISMT increases also offers a lot more control over what is happening on screen than the old one did.
“There’s so many new things I can do from behind this computer that I couldn’t do with the old one, it wouldn’t be a fair comparison,” said Rodriquez. “It would be like taking a brand new sports car and comparing it to a car from the 1930s. It just isn’t fair.
“While Marines are firing, I can do all kinds of things. I can call for artillery fire or bring up more enemies,” said Rodriquez. “I can even take a photo of anybody on station and make it so that they appear in the simulation. With the old ISMT, none of this was possible.”
“It’s kind of like a big video game, just more realistic and a lot cooler,” said Beadles.
While the ISMT may resemble a giant video game, it does something no video game system can do, increase Marines’ proficiency with their rifles.
“This new ISMT, with all of it’s new capabilities, is going to make it easier for us instructors to evaluate and correct and problems shooters are having while on the range,” said Beadles.