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Quarterly Evaluation of Gunner Proficiency

This chapter provides procedures for evaluating the skills of MANPAD gunners in handling and firing the Stinger. Since weapons are not available for live-firing exercises, engagement simulations must be used. The MTS provides the most comprehensive means of evaluating gunner proficiency. Both the weapon handling and decision making elements of the engagement process can be accurately assessed against a variety of simulated target executing courses, speeds, and maneuvers that would be encountered in combat.


The job of the evaluator is to determine if the gunner can correctly perform all the steps of the engagement sequence within set time limits. The evaluator grades on a go/no-go basis. To pass the test, the gunner must perform all the steps correctly, in proper order, and within proper time constraints. The tasks that must be performed by the gunner during an engagement can be divided into two categories for evaluation purposes; weapon handling, and decision making.

Weapon handling involves the smooth and efficient operation of the weapon. The gunner must demonstrate mastery of the weapon and its operating controls.

Decision making involves the process of determining if and when certain actions in the engagement control sequence are to be performed. These decisions require the application of a number of rules that are based on the type of target being engaged and visual and audible indications received by the gunner during the engagement sequence. The skills and knowledge that a gunner needs to successfully execute a firing sequence are discussed in chapters 3 through 6 of this manual and in Soldier's Manual FM 44-16S.


Introduction to Evaluation

Gunner Evaluation with the MTS

Gunner Evaluation on a Tracking Range


Gunner Performance Evaluation Sheet

The evaluator must consider the capabilities of the equipment and facilities he has available to him for evaluation purposes.

The THT can be used to evaluate weapon handling. However, this device used alone does not provide a means for accurately evaluating the gunner's ability at decision making.

By using the THT with an MTS, all elements of gunner proficiency can be tested against a variety of targets and target courses. When available, the MTS provides one of the most accurate means of evaluating gunner proficiency.

The THT can also be used in conjunction with live targets flying known courses on a tracking range to evaluate both weapon handling and decision making. However, detailed planning and close coordination between the various elements involved in the operation of the tracking range are required to achieve accurate test results.


Prior to conducting the test, the evaluator should familiarize himself with the target run sheet for each target run he has selected. Also, the evaluator should familiarize himself with the gunner performance evaluation sheet and the scoring criteria and procedures used with the sheet.

Before class, the instructor should be sure that the projector is loaded with the proper film, the system energized and checked out, and that the necessary training materials are on hand. These materials should include the THT to be used, stopwatch (if required), reel tabular data, and target run analysis sheets for each reel to be used. Also, student evaluation sheets and any other materials which the instructor considers useful and appropriate.

Before starting the film run state the objectives and standards of the film reel to be used and describe the targets to be expected, including types, speeds, and maneuvers. Assign the gunner to firing positions. Have the gunner inspect the THT for proper battery voltage and gas pressure and have him take the gunner position.

Start target run. The gunner must now search, scan, detect, acquire, and track the target to perform a successful simulated launch.

There will be one evaluator assigned to each gunner being tested. The evaluator must evaluate all gunner activities during an engagement. By observing the IR and launch boundary indicator lamps on the trainer control console, the evaluator can determine if a gunner fires within IR and launch boundaries.

Since the target run sheets are keyed to time, the evaluator, using a stopwatch, will record the times between activation, acquisition, tone, and firing. If the THT indicates a procedural error, the evaluator should examine the windows/lamps, determine the cause of error, and make a note of the gunner's error.

The evaluator may stop the projector at the end of a target run or series of runs to change gunners.


If an MTS is not available, the gunners can be evaluated against real aircraft flying over a prescribed area. The aircraft is flown over a preplanned course and the engagement is simulated using the THT. Compared to MTS training, this method (outdoor range) of presenting targets to the gunner has the advantage of realism but has disadvantages that include the following:

  • Less precision in the evaluation. Aircraft courses are more difficult to control and time; therefore, the evaluator must rely more on his own judgment or the use of a Stinger sight assembly as to exactly when the aircraft is within the engagement zone.

  • Difficulty of obtaining aircraft support. Aircraft support may be difficult to obtain and are more expensive in terms of the personnel and equipment required to operate and control them.

  • Difficulty of locating training areas. A tracking range or suitable training area, target courses, equipment, and material must be selected. When actual aircraft are to be used, the evaluator coordinates with the pilot/air operations officer concerning target courses, number of runs, time involved, and communications.


    If possible, targets should include jet and propeller aircraft and helicopters. Targets should fly a variety of courses to enhance gunner training.


    Preplanned target courses should be set up so that the evaluator and his assistant know where the launch, hold fire, and cease fire boundaries are located. The data for each course should be preplotted on a graph similar to the target run sheet used with the MTS. Target courses should include the following:

  • Crossing left to right, low altitude (high-performance aircraft).

  • Crossing left to right, low altitude (low/medium-performance aircraft).

  • Crossing right to left (helicopter).

  • Crossing right to left, low altitude (high-performance aircraft).

  • Directly incoming, low altitude (high-performance aircraft).

  • Incoming, transitioning mid-flight to crossing.


    The conduct of the evaluation is the same as with the MTS. Normally, the gunner is given a total of five engagement runs. He must receive a go on four of the engagements. At the completion of the test for record, the evaluator informs the gunner of the test score, go or no-go, and critiques his performance.


    Gunner performance during a proficiency test will be scored using the Gunner Performance Evaluation Sheet. The sheet may be reproduced locally. The scored elements are listed in the order they usually occur in an actual engagement. The evaluator closely observes the gunner's actions during the engagement sequence and the THT's visual and audible indicators. When evaluating using the MTS, the evaluator looks at the target run sheet for the times at which certain events in the engagement should occur. He also listens for target information from the film. When evaluating on a tracking range, the evaluator uses the target run sheet prepared for each target course.

    The evaluator then scores the performance on each run as go or no-go on the evaluation sheet. A go rating is awarded a run if the engagement is properly performed and no uncorrectable errors are made. The gunner may be scored go if he recovers from an error and completes the engagement in a satisfactory manner. Additional go or no-go scoring criteria can be found in the notes following the sample evaluation sheet. The standards are: Four of five hostile targets (80 percent) must be successfully engaged. No "friendly" targets may be engaged, unless declared hostile by the evaluator.


    If the gunner properly prepares the THT for operation, and does it in the correct sequence, he should be scored go. If he fails to raise the antenna (remove the front cover), lock the sight in the up position, and/or securely connect the IFF simulator cable to the THT, he should be scored no-go. Also, if he fails to install the power source, he should be scored no-go.


    If the gunner detects the target in time to engage it, he should be scored go. If he fails to detect the target or detects it too late to successfully complete the engagement sequence, he should be rated no-go.


    If the gunner steps toward the target with his left foot, oversights to line up the sight with the target and then sights on the target, he may be scored go. If he demonstrates awkwardness in handling the THT, he should be scored no-go. Points to look for include the following:

  • Does not step toward the target with his left foot, or move his foot as the target moves.

  • Lacks good physical control of the THT.

  • Does not balance the THT on his shoulder.

  • Does not lean into the THT.

  • Is unable to see through the sight properly.

  • Holds the THT in a canted position.

  • Accidentally activates the controls.

    Watch for the above gunner errors throughout the engagement sequence.


    If the gunner interrogates the target and properly interprets the response, he may be scored go. If he fails to interrogate the target, or if he misinterprets the response, he should be scored no-go.


    If the gunner activates the THT in time to allow engagement (before the aircraft reaches the hold fire/crossover point), he should be scored go. If he fails to activate the THT or activates the THT too late to complete the engagement, he should be scored no-go.


    If the gunner allows the gyro to fully spin up (3-5 seconds), tracks the target smoothly (steady IR tone), and uncages after IR acquisition, he should be scored go. If he uncages without IR acquisition and completes the target engagement, he should be scored no-go. He may release the UNCAGING switch at any time up to firing, if he does not have/loses IR acquisition, and then attempts to complete the engagement again.


    If the gunner inserts superelevation and the proper lead, he should be scored go. If he fails to superelevate or applies the wrong lead, he should be scored no-go.


    If the gunner presses and holds the firing trigger until the beep is heard while at the same time pressing and holding the UNCAGING switch and continues to track the target, he should be scored go. If he does not, he should be scored no-go. If he fires while the target is in the hold fire zone, he should be scored no-go. If he fires before the target enters the engagement zone, he should be scored no-go. If he fires after the target is out of range, he should be scored no-go. If he fires without IR acquisition, he should be scored no-go.


    If the gunner removes the power source immediately after completing the engagement, he should be scored go. If he forgets to remove the power source, he should be scored no-go.

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