New technology aims to make Marines more deadly marksmen

New technology aims to make Marines more deadly marksmen

WASHINGTON — Marines may soon see new high-tech tools to help them become more deadly marksmen.

Top weapons training and marksmanship leaders will share a suite of technologies the service is experimenting with to give Marines a more accurate and realistic way to practice shooting, while providing data on their performance and ways to improve. It can be collected instantly.

Col. Howard Hall, Chief of Staff of the Training and Education Command, said a 2018 Operational Analysis Directorate study showed that Marines in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan only had a 30 percent chance of inflicting a fatal wound on their target. Ta. If there was more than one target or the target was at an unknown distance, it was moving.

Hall told the Modern Day Marine Expo audience that the study contributed to the 2021 annual rifle qualification changes, the first major overhaul in a century.

These changes include starting the firing order at the 100-yard line and moving back to the 500-yard line, as Marines do in combat, and vice versa, starting farther away and moving closer. Changes were included.

This qualification added shorter firing ranges, rapid training fire at 25 yards, the addition of moving targets, and the use of barricades, among other changes.

New technology the Marine Corps is experimenting with is intended to enhance these shot groups, speeding up Marine fire and making it more lethal. Much of this will come in the form of more out-of-range training options in weapons training and simulators. Other efforts include more accurate data collection and real-time feedback for shooters to adjust their techniques.

The tool package includes Mantis X10 and Unit 4 equipment that can be inserted into an M4 or M27, allowing users to practice dry fire without live ammunition, use lasers, and feel recoil. can do.

These modify the marksmanship that the Marines didn’t get from the “snap-in” barrels.

A snap-in barrel is a barrel, usually an empty 55-gallon drum or similar sized item, painted white and painted with a smaller version of the target shape used at rifle ranges. These smaller shapes simulate target sizes similar to what shooters see at shorter distances at the shooting range.

The Marines then dry fire their rifles at those targets and practice breathing and trigger control.

“This is a digital snap-in barrel that provides feedback,” said Col. Greg Jones, Weapons Training Battalion commander.

The Mantis system is being tested at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Firing Range at Parris Island, South Carolina, and the Edson Range at Camp Pendleton, California.

The joint fire evaluation package uses a smartphone or tablet with a software application, acoustic measurement equipment, and a smartwatch to monitor movement.

This measures the short-range shooting portion of the annual rifle qualification from 25 yards. The Joint Fire Capability Assessment Package collects a company’s worth of data in less than four hours and allows you to develop a plan to improve your marksmanship skills based on the results. .

The Corps is currently considering a radar-based system that would measure fire from 500 to 100 yard lines for rifle qualification. If both are adopted, many existing qualifications will be completely digitized.

In November 2023, the Corps awarded an $11.3 million contract to Valiant Integrated Services for advanced small arms lethal training equipment. This simulation system adds more scenarios and features to the long-running indoor mock shooting trainer.

Advanced small arms lethal training equipment will be deployed at all major installations, including Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Camp Pendleton, California. Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Centers in Quantico, Virginia, and Twentynine Palms, California;

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government, and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for his co-authored project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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