FORT DRUM, New York (Sept. 11, 2018) -- Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division trained for more than two weeks recently using cognitive rifle marksmanship allowing them to practice decision making skills on the battlefield in a simulated setting.

The training was made available to the installation under contract by the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Drum, New York.

Through electronic simulation, Soldiers practice target identification, rapid-thought processes and shooting skills using more than 2,100 different programs and scenarios. These programs include marksmanship at all levels, close quarters combat and quick reaction training.

Hundreds of Soldiers from both brigade combat teams as well as division staff and tenant units were able to go through multiple programs while the training was on site at Fort Drum. Also, one day was dedicated to senior leaders to try out different training events and see firsthand the capabilities of the systems.

One of the major impacts of the Cognitive Rifle Marksmanship training is the impact on ammunition. Soldiers accomplished the training and fired thousands of rounds each through simulated events. Basic and advanced rifle marksmanship was covered through the different scenarios.

"Cognitive rifle marksmanship allows us to create a realistic environment for Soldiers to train their warfighting skills and make critical decisions when they are physically and mentally stressed," said Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, the 10th MTN Division commander. "Soldiers must overcome physical challenges, identify targets, and decide whether to shoot from many different positions. This can't be done on a typical live-fire range, but it is certainly a skill required in combat."

The training improves the speed and reaction time a Soldier uses to identify and engage a target. Some scenarios have target acquisition in less than 0.7 seconds. Other scenarios teach Soldiers to hunt through large amounts of cognitive data to identify a single threat, with multiple images so that the Soldier never sees the same scenario twice.

The contract is a prime example of how operationalizing contracting is impacting the readiness of warfighter.

"Our guidance from the commanding general of the Army Materiel Command is that operationalizing contracting is not about the number of actions or dollars obligated, it's about the outcome of Soldiers on battlefield," said Anthony Sligar, the acting director for the MICC-Fort Drum contracting office.

Sligar added that contracting impacts 10th MTN Division Soldiers every day through dining facilities, barracks maintenance, construction maintenance and training to ensure the Army is the world's most lethal force.

The training also comes as the 2nd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Drum prepares for deployment. Army officials announced 2nd BCT deployment to Afghanistan in July as part of the service's regular rotation in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. The command is made up of two contracting support brigades, two field directorates, 30 contracting offices and nine battalions. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.