Defenders train regularly to maintain readiness, so when they receive the call to put their lives at risk for the people they protect, they’re prepared. The 100th Security Forces Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, England, has incorporated a firearms training simulator into their regular training and it’s helping them increase their readiness and posture.
The simulator makes it possible for the “Bloody Hundredth’s” Defenders to immerse themselves in a number of different training situations that they may face in the field.
“It’s a 300-degree range with five screens, all of them are interactive so students can potentially interact with any of the screens during a scenario,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Udell, 100th SFS instructor. “We have more than 300 different scenarios to choose from and we can create our own scenarios specific to RAF Mildenhall.
This machine allows security forces to create their own courses to put Defenders on different ranges to practice weapon manipulation and give them more experience using their weapon.
“We have them run different drills for speed and accuracy, then do some ‘shoot, no-shoot’ scenarios,” Udell said. “These scenarios utilize all five screens and ‘people’ pop up and the Defenders have to identify targets and only engage hostile targets.”
The system has embedded recording devices that document the student’s actions and allow the instructors to critique their performance.
“Instructors are looking for accuracy. With this system we do a lot more training of what happens after the trigger pull,” Udell said. “We can count how many shots they fired, where their shots impacted and discuss their actions afterward to improve a student’s performance and responses.”
Using this new technology helps Defenders increase their trigger time each quarter, as well as their situational awareness.
“We can manipulate the scenario as it’s running, depending on how the defender is interacting with it,” Udell explained. “If the student is using the proper use-of-force training, we can manipulate the scenario to de-escalate it or make it more aggressive, if they are not handling the situation correctly.”
The simulator may look like a giant video game, but the applications are very practical.
“This is as realistic as we can get,” said Senior Airman Frank Corcho, 100th SFS response force member. “Similar to real life, we arrive at a scene and are confronted with personnel we’ve never seen before and building layouts we have never encountered. Overall the training is amazing, especially the ‘shoot, no shoot’ scenarios, I love it.”
Training expert Defenders takes time and effort, this machine can help expedite training and improve results.
“The system creates an environment where you are constantly seeing new and different scenarios without overwhelming manpower and resources,” Udell said. “Combine that with additional trigger time, and being able to train past the trigger pull helps us build more confident and lethal defenders.”