MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz --
Relax, calm your breathing, sight in, apply slow steady pressure and squeeze the trigger. Click, BANG! You hit the target, but it was too far up and to the left. All it takes is a few adjustments on the simulator and you are re-calibrated and ready to sight in again.
The Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer - Enhanced gives Marines time to practice firing their weapons before qualifying on the range or before their pre-deployment training, explained Cpl. Andrew Russell, Marksmanship Training Unit marksmanship coach.
“The ISMT-E is designed to enhance a shooter’s marksmanship abilities and weapon employment training,” said Russell.
There are a variety of weapons, which can be used at the ISMT-E including the M-16A2 service rifle, MK-19 40mm automatic grenade launcher, M-249 squad automatic weapon, M-2 .50 caliber machine gun, the MP-5 submachine gun and the 9mm pistol.
The ISMT-E recently added wireless weapons, an improvement on the tethered weapons previously used.
The tethered weapons are connected to a line that runs through an air tank, which then runs through a converter, which transfers information to the server.
They are also equipped with six sensors that register to the server. The sensors tell the server the condition of the weapon at all times. The wireless weapons are loaded with a ‘magazine’ filled with 3,000 pounds of air pressure per square inch.
“The wireless weapons make (shooting in the ISMT-E) easier because the tether isn’t there to get in the way when you grip the weapon,” said Russell.
Yuma was the first Marine Corps installation to receive the new wireless weapons, said Russell.
“We are constantly getting updated equipment to accommodate changes with rifle qualifications,” said Russell.
The ISMT-E has a variety of infantry weapons fitted with lasers to show where the shooter is aiming, video to see the scenarios and computer generated imagery scenarios, which allows Marines to train on a variety of weapons in different situations.
One of the most common scenarios simulates what a Marine would see on the known distance course of fire at the rifle range.
Russell said, “If a Marine who came to the ISMT fails on the range, we are the ones who failed them but, needless to say Marines who come to the ISMT don’t fail as often as those who don’t.”
“I (unked) two times (on the range) without going to the ISMT, and I shot sharpshooter this last time after practicing in the ISMT,” said Lance Cpl. Raymond Castro Jr., Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron financial operations clerk. “Practice makes perfect”
“All someone would have to do is call over here and ask if they could get some trigger time and we would set them up,” said Russell.
After going to the ISMT you can be confident that you are more likely to hit the black next time you’re on the range.