FORT SILL, Okla.--If firing a missile was simply a "push button" job, it would not be a challenge to train Soldiers to do it right. Because the Air Defense Artillery School at Fort Sill trains Soldiers to do the job right, it looks simple when you see the missiles firing in the news.

Because it looks simple, people can forget that a lot of different components have to work right so the Patriot missile system fires and hits its target -- which brings us to the system's electric power plant.

The Air Defense Artillery School's staff and their civilian counterparts at C2 Mobile, a high tech company out of Newport News, Va., developed a new training program called the, "Electric Power Plant Operator Maintainer Course."


Well, it was just named one of the best courses around. The C2 Mobile entry, "Electric Power Plant Operator Maintainer Course" was named best in the "Mobile Category" last week at the I/ITSEC 2011 Serious Game Showcase and Challenge. The challenge is an annual competition to find the best gaming or educational computer applications in any genre - including business, education or government. Winning an award makes your application one of the best that year.

Jennifer Y. McNeil, the senior project manager for C2 Mobile, announced the win last week in an e-mail and said, "This is an industry award that was based on a rigorous selection process."

She was quick to spread the credit to the professional Soldiers of the battalion by adding, "Our success is your success."

McNeil briefly described what the course does. She said the student enters a 3D environment that lets them interact with a simulated vehicle. The students progress through a series of drills at their own pace while they learn from experiences and potential mistakes. As the student learns, they are provided less guidance by the training system and must complete the drill under a deadline.

According to the training battalion commander, the new training course will pay off in big ways for the ADA School.

"We have been working with C2 for the last year and a half to develop application-based learning for our Patriot crewmember practical exercises in an attempt to utilize otherwise unused training time, to reduce wear and tear on our equipment, and to increase proficiency in march order and emplacement of the Patriot weapons system," Lt.
Col. Elizabeth R. Smith, battalion commander of the 3rd Battalion 6th Air Defense Artillery, the unit that trains ADA Soldiers on using their weapons systems, wrote in an e-mail.