Image of Army’s Newest Moving Targets

Story by PEO STRI

The U.S. Army’s Orlando-based Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) showcased the capabilities of its Trackless Moving Target (TMT) and Live Training Systems (LTS) to senior Army leaders from Combat Arms Center (CAC), Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Forces Command (FORSCOM) and G3/Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization & Security on April 9-11 at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.

The demonstration provided leaders with a firsthand look at the evolving systems to better support live fire training and an opportunity to ask questions about the TMT and STE LTS capabilities.

The TMTs are the Army’s only programmable robotic moving target program that can traverse complex terrain and mimic human and vehicle movement. The TMTs come in two types, TMT – Infantry (TMT-I) and TMT – Vehicle (TMT-V). They are designed to survive when shot by live .50 caliber ball ammunition and 7.62mm and 5.56mm Enhanced Penetrator Rounds. PEO STRI demonstrated how the Army’s TMTs are used to train Soldiers in live fire scenarios. Instead of aiming at stationary targets, Soldiers must calculate the lead, distance and trajectory necessary to hit the moving targets.

Col. Thomas R. Monaghan Jr., PEO STRI’s project manager, Program Manager Training Devices (PM TRADE), said, “The Trackless Moving Target program enables the U.S. Army to shift from static ranges to realistic, asymmetrically mobile targets, enabling Soldiers to employ advanced fundamentals of marksmanship and engage targetry in lifelike scenarios.”

An infantry company of the XVIII Airborne Corps tested the TMT technology on the range and participated in the LTS demonstration. By running true live fire scenarios at the company command level with targets that replicate the motion of enemy Soldiers and moving vehicles, Army Soldiers are trained to a greater degree of success.

“The Tactical Training Systems (TTS) programs are allowing Soldiers the ability to train to a higher level of accuracy without stepping into an active battlefield,” said Lt. Col. James Flott, product manager, Tactical Training Systems (TTS). “We seek to create a training environment that facilitates operational realism. Soldiers must train as they fight and that starts with this office fielding the best training capabilities that will increase their proficiency and lethality. The development and continuing improvement of capabilities like the TMT would not be possible without Soldier feedback, which allows us to incorporate current and emerging threat-like targetry and scenarios at Army installations worldwide.”

As opposed to the TMTs providing force-on-target training with live ammunition, Live Training Systems provides force-on-force training, in which Soldiers fight bloodless battles against training opposing forces with simulated weapons effects.

LTS will eventually replace the Army’s venerable Multi-Intregated Laser Engagement Systems or MILES, which is like Laser Tag on a huge scale, and will replicate weapons and effects that are not available with MILES. LTS will bring more realism and more accurately represent the weapons effects for Combat Training Centers and Home Station training. To get all the various needed capabilities, LTS will be delivered in 3 separate increments.

LTS is leveraging technology to bring realism to the adage “train as we fight,” said Lt. Col. Shayla Parker, program officer, STE LTS. “Gone are the days of Soldiers throwing rocks to simulate a grenade detonation during training. The Increment 1 products (grenades, Claymore, mortars and Stinger) are allowing Soldiers to use the proper tactics, techniques and procedures by providing immediate feedback and battle damage assessments to train the next generation of warfighters.”

By simulating the feel and realism that comes with live training, Soldiers can better prepare for the real-life encounters they may find in active combat. LTS will move from rapid prototyping to rapid fielding Increment 1 at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) and National Training Center (NTC), while TMT prepares to deploy systems to its next locations at Fort Liberty, Fort Cavazos, Fort Campbell and Fort Carson.

The modernization of live training scenarios represents a shift in Army training methodologies, offering a transformative capability that enhances realism, immersion and effectiveness in training exercises, better preparing our Soldiers to become more lethal warfighters for tomorrow’s battles.

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