An Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer has been installed here this summer, giving Marines the opportunity to train with a variety of weapons before packing up and heading out to the field, range or operating forces.
The new ISMT, located on the third floor of Building 8, is stocked with M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons, M-9 pistols, shotguns, M-16 rifles and MP-5s. It provides a realistic environment, which gives Marines the chance to train as they fight.
“While nothing is as effective as actually going out to the field, this will at least keep Marines in the mindset of what they are expected to do in the fleet,” said Sgt. Ron Tinsley, ISMT instructor and S-3 training chief.
The trainer offers three types of shooting formats: lanes training, where Marines can hone their accuracy with the rifle and pistol from known distances on both still and moving “B-Mod” targets, computer-generated imagery and video training. Detailed feedback, including visual shot grouping, accuracy ratings and pass/fail grading, provides Marines the chance to identify their weaknesses and improve their marksmanship.
“Marines are able to maintain a state of readiness, proficiency in their MOS, weapon awareness, and the fundamentals of marksmanship by utilizing the facility,” Tinsley said.
The project of installing the ISMT began in early March, and the facility was first used by Marines who were preparing to qualify on the pistol range, July 2. The trainer’s effectiveness was immediately validated by the Marines’ range scores.
“Ninety-five percent shot expert, three percent shot sharpshooter and two percent shot marksman,” Tinsley said about the pistol qualification at Fort Meade, July 9.
Another benefit of having the ISMT is more frequent training opportunities, something many Marines have already taken advantage of.
“There’s a lot less Marines here than at many of the bases in the fleet,” Tinsley said. “That means we’ll be able to get Marines more repetitions, and the more repetitions, the better the training.”
The training also gives rusty Marines the chance to hone their skills prior to requalifying with either the rifle or pistol, said Master Sgt. Kevin Pinckney, Marine Corps Community Services operations chief.
“It feels good. It gets the juices flowing,” Pinckney said about completing a lanes-training evolution with the pistol, July 14. Pinckney, who has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and hasn’t qualified in more than 18months, said he felt using the ISMT was a good warm-up for the range.
“After using the ISMT, I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing what I can do,” Pinckney said.
When Marines aren’t fighting, they’re training, and the new ISMT is providing Marines with the opportunity to train in one of their primary skill areas: marksmanship. Whether they want to sustain their skills as a rifleman or become proficient with another weapon, Barracks Marines now can practice right here.