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Virtual marksmanship training at Quantico


The Youth Education Summit’s next stop at Quantico was inside the air conditioned confines of the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer (ISMT) building.

Adopted by the United States Marine Corps in 1990, the ISMT is an interactive simulator that provides small arms training in enhanced marksmanship, weapons employment, indirect fire and tactical decision-making. The system uses actual firearms that have been instrumented with lasers and mechanisms providing life-like recoil to make the experience as realistic as possible.

This is more than just a target reading where your shot, computer graphics can not only simulate ranges in a variety of weather conditions, but also provide video sequences that challenge a Marine’s ability to handle any situation.

Going through the Online Firearms Training Courses, you might see non-combatants mixed with combatants, escalation of force scenarios, or different hostage situations.

Originally designed to train Marines on the M-16A2 rifle, the system now includes a variety of firearms, including the M-9 pistol, M-249 SAW, Remington 870, RPG-7 and mortars.

Firearms shoot compressed air that is actually housed in converted magazines that must be reloaded just like their real life counterparts.

The summit only got to try out the M-16A2 on a standard range layout. Splitting up into groups of eight and rotating after a couple rounds of target practice, the group got a good feel for the life-like simulation.

One of the main reasons for this program’s implementation is the cost savings on ammunition. By having Marines train with the simulators, the Marine Corps saves over $477 million dollars a year.

Their time up, the students thanked the ISMT staff and headed off to chow at the mess hall.

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