By Staff Sgt. Andrew PorchMarch 9, 2013
PINON CANYON MANEUVER SITE, Colo. -- Gunners communicating with their tank commanders as rounds are fired downrange to engage enemy targets is happening safely from a computer simulated trainer for Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, March 5.
Between conducting live training at PCMS, Soldiers are honing their skills for future gunnery certifications by using the Advanced Gunnery Training System.
"This system is essential to Soldiers because it prepares them for live fires, said Sgt. Justin Nearing, armor crewman, Company C. "If we actually sent Soldiers down range prior to doing the training, there would probably be accidents and people could get hurt. This mitigates those safety issues and prepares them for live rounds."
The intent of the training is that Soldiers hone their fire command skills.
"The most important thing Soldiers should take away from this are the basics, said 1st Lt. Haidar Osman, platoon leader, Company C. "What is the target, what is the direction, when should the driver move up and out of the defelade position; basic fundamentals like that are key to every single engagement."
Soldiers are scored on scale from 0-1000 and can continue to repeat the training if they don't meet the standard.
"You do things over and over and over again," said Osman. "It is going to be ingrained in you and be second nature."
The system allows crews to work together and become reliant on each other.
"It's a real team building exercise," said Nearing. " It gets the gunners and tank commanders on the same wave length. They get to know each other without having to use a real tank which is real expensive."
The AGTS allows units to save funds that would normally be used during training.
"It is a lot cheaper to use this facility then take a tank down range and use fuel, ammo and other resources," said Nearing.
The AGTS played a role in ensuring Soldiers are ready for gunnery and future missions.
Removing the AGTS from training would leave Soldiers without a critical training resource, said Osman. Because of the training, everything they have learned will be second nature when they get to gunnery.