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36th CRG acquires Warrior Skills Trainer simulator

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 36th Contingency Response Group recently added yet another capability to its ever-growing list of military assets.

Installation of the Warrior Skills Trainer, a state-of-the-art battle simulator featuring a 180-degree projection screen and full-size, computerized High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, also known as HMMWV or more commonly called a humvee, was completed less than three weeks ago.

"This system allows us to [create] certain scenarios, whether it's convoy operations, mounted operations or dismounted operations," said Tech Sgt. Mark Gandy, 736th Security Forces Squadron Warrior Skills Trainer program manager.

The $4 million simulator supports several weapon platforms compatible with the simulator, including the M4 Carbine automatic rifle, the MK19 grenade launcher, the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and M2 Browning heavy machine gun. These weapons are used to combat simulated enemies programmed into the scenario.

"With this system, I can load in the bad guys, friendly forces and a civilian populace as well as create the terrain, whether it's an urban, desert or mountainous region," Sergeant Gandy said. "[I can load] IEDs suicide bombers and different types of armored vehicles and aircraft into the scenarios."

Though the cost of the simulator may seem steep to some, the one-time payment for the simulator helps lower costs in other areas. Sergeant Gandy cited the expenses for HMMWV repair and maintenance, gas for all vehicles and the money spent on munitions and blank rounds as examples of how the simulator helps save Andersen AFB money.

Sergeant Gandy said the simulator will be incorporated into the Commando Warrior course, but it will not replace all of the hands-on training and exercises. That doesn't mean the simulator doesn't have clear-cut advantages.

"We have a lot of individuals coming here [for training] from places like Alaska and Japan where the climate is a lot different than it is here in Guam," Sergeant Gandy said. "To have these individuals and students go through this portion of the class takes them out of the heat stress environment, which they'll get plenty of during our field training exercises."

Up to five students can use the simulator during any scenario. Instructors can use the simulator to assess an individual's knowledge and readiness in a given scenario.

"In this controlled environment, we can evaluate them on their tactics to make sure they're doing things properly, make sure they're utilizing cover and make sure they're taking care of their weapons properly and loading them properly," Sergeant Gandy said.

Maj. Kirk Hughes, 736th SFS commander, provided his insight on the new equipment and how it'll improve the quality of training Airmen receive.

"With these systems we can expose the students to a wide range of scenarios with a few quick key strokes," Major Hughes said. "We can instantly change the environment and the adversary that the students face. This reduces the lag time that you encounter when using role player based scenarios but the quality of training does not suffer. In fact, it increases the amount of training we can complete."

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