Simulated firing range added to Fort Leavenworth arsenal
Fort Leavenworth — In the past, Fort Leavenworth hasn’t had enough spacious land available to train its personnel in target practice.
Now, thanks to completion of a 1,200 square-foot building, soldiers will have ample room to train.
Known as the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, the new Fort Leavenworth facility is an indoor multipurpose facility that allows several military personnel to “fire” at a screen simultaneously. The “ammunition” is enabled through a laser system connected to the simulated situation on the screen. The training exercise can then be replayed for evaluation of accuracy.
On Friday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the EST 2000.
“While it doesn’t replace live training, in some respects, it is better,” said Army Col. Wayne Green, garrison commander at the fort. “It’s certainly more cost-efficient. It certainly, from an availability standpoint on a post that doesn’t have a lot of acres for live fire, this is an irreplaceable capability.”
With the replay availability on the video screen, military personnel have instant feedback from their firing sessions.
Previously, firing training would require traveling to Fort Riley in the Manhattan/Junction City area. The live fire still is essential, Green said, but more training on improving proficiency and other areas could be accomplished through the EST 2000. And that would mean fewer trips to Fort Riley.
The training simulation offers training through individual marksmanship, small unit gunnery and tactical training and judgmental use of force, such as when to shoot and not shoot. Weaponry available are pistols, rifles, carbines, grenade launchers and shotgun simulators. Heavy machine gun simulators also are available.
On Friday, military personnel used M-16 A2s and M-4 A2s after the ribbon-cutting.
The facility is available for any National Guard or Army Reserve units and Military Police, which Green hopes will attract other military to Fort Leavenworth as well. He also plans to work with local police departments and the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office in utilizing the facility.