Story by PEO STRI


The U.S. Army’s Product Manager Synthetic Warrior Systems (PdM SWS) Soldier Virtual Trainer (SVT) team conducted a Soldier Touch Point (STP) at Fort Riley, Kansas, during the first week of March. PdM SWS is part of the Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) Project Manager Synthetic Environment (PM SE), which is based in Orlando, Florida.


The main purpose of the STP was to showcase the SVT Core and Weapon Skills Development (WSD) Increment 1 prototype capabilities. The second STP event for SVT, STP 2 provided Soldiers with a hands-on experience of newly developed SVT capabilities.


These same Soldiers along with stakeholders attending the event, provided feedback to the PdM that will now inform the iterative prototype design and development of the system and ultimately deliver a modernized individual and dismounted crew-served weapons training capability to the Army.


“It is extremely important to conduct Soldier Touch Points as early and as often as possible during prototype development to ensure that the Soldier Virtual Trainer prototype development remains centered on the Soldiers and their operational needs,” said Maj. Dustin K. Freeman, SVT Assistant Product Manager, Synthetic Warrior Systems. “The feedback Soldiers provide will directly impact development decisions regarding the form, fit, and function of the SVT WSD and develop a virtual training system that replicates live fire training.”


The STP 2 included Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment (1-18IN) “Vanguards” of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team (2ABCT), 1st Infantry Division (1ID); subject matter experts (SMEs) from the Army Marksmanship Unit from Fort Moore, Georgia, and representatives from the Army National Guard from Salinas, Kansas.


The Soldiers received instruction and conducted multiple firing table runs using the SVT Core, WSD Increment 1 weapons, and enabling technologies. They also tested courses of fire using their assigned weapon systems and optics that they brought to the testing facility. The weapons were fitted with instrumentation drop-in kits that enabled training in a simulated environment.


The new training system optimizes the use of display technologies and weapons effects to provide a realistic and immersive environment that meets individual training needs. Soldiers were also equipped with biometric gear during STP 2 to allow the instructors to view Soldier performance feedback as the dynamic scenarios were executed.


After using the SVT, Soldiers participated in a focus group to provide feedback on the system. Their feedback will be incorporated into the design modifications review process as iterative development continues in preparation for STP 3 followed by the culminating event, the Operational Demonstration (OD).


“The Pistol drop-in kit’s initial design recoil accuracy is much better than the recoil in EST II (Engagement Skills Trainer II),” stated Staff Sgt. Ryan Frick, a combat medic with the Kansas National Guard, regarding SVT Core and Pistol capabilities. “I think that will enhance the experience of new pistol shooters before an actual live fire.”


The SVT is a single, interconnected, virtual system that enables the Soldier to train on and sustain weapon proficiency, Use of Force and Fire Missions. SVT components include an SVT Core and up to three add-on kits that include such capabilities as the Weapon Skills Development (WSD), Joint Fires Trainer (JFT) and Use of Force (UoF). The WSD is designed to replace the Army’s EST II and the JFT will replace the Call for Fire Trainer III (CFFT III). The UoF is a new program of record that will be added as one of the SVT kits.


WSD is a simulation trainer that provides both individual and crew-served combat marksmanship training. WSD Increment 1 will allow warfighters to perform individual and collective training tasks using their assigned weapons and optics for the following weapon systems: M4, M249, M17/18, M320, M240B&L, M2A1 and MK19.


WSD is designed to help Soldiers exercise rapid decision-making, cognitive skills, and rapid target acquisition in stressful environments. It also allows Soldiers to increase the quality and quantity of training repetitions; accelerate and sustain their skills in rapid target acquisition; and improve their lethality and unit readiness. WSD is key to engaging critical marksmanship skills prior to Soldiers ever firing a bullet downrange.


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