Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, improved their
proficiency with machine guns on a digital range at an Indoor Simulated
Marksmanship Trainer aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 4-6, 2015.
The training allowed Marines to gain
familiarity with various machine guns in a controlled environment without expending
live ammunition and dealing with costs and logistics of moving ammunition and
personnel to live-fire ranges.
biggest advantage of the ISMT is its accessibility,” said 1st Lt. John Sanko,
the commander of Combined Anti-Armor Team Platoon. “We’re using the virtual
training to nail down our fundamentals and get marksmanship gunnery down while
being able to learn in a kinetic environment.”
weapons at the facility are powered by compressed air, which gives them reduced
but similar recoil and noise. The difference in the weapons’ handling serves as
a stepping stone for less-experienced Marines.
“We’re familiarizing all the younger
Marines who have just come in and haven’t had the opportunity to shoot,” said
Cpl. Steven Petruska, a vehicle commander with the unit. “It’s important to
lessen the shock. We take small steps forward into everything we do in the
Marine Corps, so we change little things to help Marines succeed at the next
Misfires still occur and the Marines
are sometimes forced to stop shooting so they can fix the problems they
encounter. The weapons may not be real, but realistic training is the focus of
“The Marine Corps emphasizes combat
marksmanship over just going out and shooting,” Sanko said. “As infantrymen we
need to be able to hit what we’re aiming at. Being able to come here as
frequently as possible and constantly improve our marksmanship improves our
overall proficiency as a unit.”
ISMT lets Marines do more with less, and scenarios in multiple facilities can
be connected, which gives units the opportunity to train alongside each other
and interact within the virtual battlefield in various environments.
allotments are going down because of the cutbacks,” Petruska said.
“Logistically, the ISMT is easier than going out to a range or going to big
events throughout the county. It’s easy to get into the ISMT, easy to get into
it for a long time and it’s a great tool.”