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Simulator provides risk-free training at Eielson

by Airman 1st Class Rachelle Coleman
354th Fighter Wing Public Affiars

1/25/2010 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) -- The 354th Security Forces Squadron training instructors here recently received training on a new simulation system that will train Airmen in marksmanship, collective and judgmental firing skills.

The Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 is a small-arms training system used to increase deployment engagement awareness, develop team building and provide realistic combat scenarios in a safe and controlled setting.

Situations posed by the EST 2000 will mimic potential events Airmen could face in a deployed environment.

With the use of an embedded scenario editor, new collective exercises can be created quickly and easily.

"It's a great tool with lots of possibilities," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Wentland, a 354th SFS combat arms training instructor. "It is very adaptable to different situations and very realistic. Everything down to weapons malfunctions and wind can be programmed into a simulation."

The system can accommodate 10 firing positions. The security forces training section will use the system to train "shoot-don't shoot" scenarios with an increased focus on the employment of use-of-force tactics.

The system will also benefit Airmen outside of the 354th SFS who also need weapons training.

"Though the simulator is primarily for security forces Airmen and augmentees, it can also be used to train Airmen who have trouble passing their weapons qualifications by taking out all of the variables and finding the root to their problem," Sergeant Wentland said.

The 354th SFS staff has five certified instructors to operate the EST 2000. Of the five instructors, two are from the North Pole Police Department and one from the 168th Security Forces Squadron. This interagency cooperation will increase the ability of law enforcement agencies to develop a unified tactical approach toward engaging potential scenarios in the comfort of an atmospheric-controlled facility, ultimately supporting U.S. Northern Command and Defense Support of Civil Authorities.

Superior accuracy and state-of-the-art graphics are features that differentiate the EST 2000 from other systems. The system is produced by members of the Cubic's Simulation Systems Division and is managed by the product manager for ground combat tactical trainers at the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation in Orlando, Fla.

The system was selected by Air Force officials from a field of world leaders in small-arms training as the system of choice to meet the needs of the Air Force today and well into the 21st century.

The EST 2000 systems are used by active-duty Army, National Guard, and Reserve units throughout the United States, Europe and South Korea. Each system consists of an instructor/operator station, a high-resolution projector, a detection system, an air compressor, a screen, cabling, and hoses to connect to lane position weapon boxes and the associated small-arms weapons. Systems can be interconnected to provide five-, 10- and 15- lane firing positions. The adaptability of the system will ensure Airmen today receive the training they need well into tomorrow.

(Editor's Note: Information in this article was provided by Master Sgt. Renee Walker, the 354th SFS logistics and readiness superintendent)

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