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First-person shooter is one of the most popular perspectives among gamers, but these simulations can be used for much more than entertainment — specifically military training. And thanks to new the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer III, Marine Corps marksmen are about to take their sharpshooting skills to a whole new level.
Though the Corps has been using virtual reality to train Marines for two decades, the systems for marksmanship have become exponentially better.
With the ISMT III, Marines have access to multiple weapons: the M9 service pistol, M4 carbine, and wireless weapons, including the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, M32A1 Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher and M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon.
This latest iteration, modeled off the Firearms Training Simulator (FATS), also boasts three-dimensional projections and features enhanced training modes, “giving Marines a better, more realistic training experience as they prepare for the complexities of modern warfare,” the release said.
In 2016, Marine Corps Times reported that the system’s immersive high-fidelity sound and visuals will help close the gap between the inherent limitations of an indoor simulation and the real thing.
“In the evolution of this training system, it went from a specific one to two weapon system and now pretty much covers the full spectrum of small arms weapons that are used by the Marine Corps today,” Chief Warrant Officer 4 Matthew Harris, the ISMT III project officer, said in a Marine Corps press release. “ISMT helps to build fundamentals of muscle memory for Marines so that when they hit the range, they are ready to respond to real-life scenarios.”
The reason the Marine Corps is investing so heavily in simulation technology is that it helps build muscle memory without costing millions.
Herbert Gray, the director of the MCIPAC Tactical Training and Simulation Support Center, told the Marines in 2016 that he believes repeated practice in realistic combat simulations allows them to develop automatic responses to a broader array of scenarios.
“It’s better to drop bombs in a simulated environment than to drop bombs on a range all over the place,” Gray said. “It saves us a lot of money.”
The Corps has ordered 490 ISMT III systems destined for major Marine Corps bases, reserve duty sites, amphibious transport docks, and amphibious assault ships worldwide, according to the release. So far, 200 have been distributed, with all land installations to be completed by September 2018.
In recent years, the Corps has invested heavily in simulation across a number of different aspects of training. Beginning in 2017, officials began distributing the Marine Tactical Decision Kit, an augmented reality system designed to put infantry Marines through the rigors of battle without ever leaving their barracks. And the same is now essentially being done with marksmanship training.
“Marksmanship is embedded in the Marine Corps,” said Carrillo. “As technology advances and weapons get better and more accurate, we need to teach Marines how to use those weapons and improve their marksmanship, so that we can continue to be the best marksmen the military can offer.”
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.
Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).