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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/11/2001 7:32:10 AM EST
Seated at a long table at the Miami airport, their laser guns propped on sandbags, the soldiers aim at a large screen, 26 feet across the room. Camouflage netting is spread over the floor to reduce glare. Computerized war scenarios are projected on the screen. On a recent afternoon, the first setting shown is a wooded area. A Russian light armored vehicle, a personnel carrier, appears in the corner of the screen. Suddenly, tiny silhouettes -- foes no bigger than a thumbnail -- charge forward. The National Guardsmen begin shooting. "The soldiers are dug in a foxhole and the enemy is coming at 'em," Roig explains over the deafening rat-a-tat-tat of the guns. "They're supposed to engage the enemy and make sure no one passes through the lines." Green dots on the screen represent missed shots. Red ones are hits. "Cease fire! Cease fire! Clear all weapons," Sullivan shouts at the end of the three-minute session. He calls out the soldiers' scores. "Sgt. Amazion 4, Walker 2, Legler 1, Perez 3, Sgt. Diaz 4." They are the numbers of enemy soldiers killed. Unlike paper targets, the computer simulator can give immediate results, showing in greater detail a person's strengths and weaknesses. It notes where the rounds are hitting and when, in relation to the events unfolding on the screen. The scenes can be altered in countless ways to change the terrain and add people, vehicles, helicopters, planes, and tanks. There are jungle and desert scenes; a bank robbery and a domestic disturbance; an ambush in a factory; a forest fight in the fog and rain; and an urban terrorist sequence with snipers perched on rooftops. The latter scenario is the most challenging, Sgt. Carlos Diaz said, because you have to take care not to shoot innocent people. In a desert, "you're just taking everything that moves."
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Link Posted: 12/11/2001 8:39:19 AM EST
It is also known as a FireArms Training Simualtor, or FATS is the familiar acronym. A variety of weapons can be set up for use with it. These are full functioning weapons, with some modifications to incorporate electronic and air pressure components. The weapon must be "locked and loaded" in the same manner as out in the real world. Various scenarios can be presented for those being trained, and their performance scored by the computer(s); it will track not only the number of kills, but how many shots were fired, how many were on target and how many were "kill" shots. FATS - Makes a great holiday gift!! [heavy]
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