Simulation is in, and gets cheaper and better year-over-year. I’ve been through a number of these facilities; sampling everything from Lockheed Martin’s to a home garage commercial system. The need for this technology has never been more acute. Officers, Rapid Response Teams and other first responders are being tasked with increased responsibilities, and subsequently increasing exposure to liability, as we try to balance operational needs with political dynamics. Case in point, the 2012 NYPD’s response outside the Empire State Building. Two NYPD officers fired 16 rounds against a lone gunman armed with a .45 ACP pistol. The majority of shots fired missing the perpetrator and striking 9 bystanders. The officers involved in the shooting were no more than 10 or 12 feet away from the gunman. If this incident does not support the need for increased training and sustainment I don’t know what does. Yet as managers and administrators we are responsible for managing diminishing budgets that restrict the frequency of live fire training. The solution is and will continue to be simulation training, but that too can be a financial burden with solutions like Simunition.
Milo Range, Ann Arbor, MI has an exceptional approach that can be tailored to meet most requirements. The system I previewed comes in at about $14,000, which includes laptop, projector, screen, software and a supply of ammunition. The trainee provides his or her own weapon system.
From a pedagogical perspective, training is best delivered when the trainee is allowed to use the actual tools that he or she are required to employ in the performance of their duties. Milo Range technology allows a trainee to use his or her actual weapon system safely and securely; the trainee’s weapon system is adapted so that live ammunition can not be chambered during the training session. The company uses blank ammunition loaded with CO2. When the firing pin strikes the cartridge a CO2 charge cycles the action and provides recoil that is similar to that experienced during live fire. In all cases recoil is slightly less than an actual propellant but quite sufficient to simulate live fire. The simulated shot then fires a non visible laser that is sensed by the screen. The CO2 cartridges run about $0.23 per round and somewhat lower when purchased in quantity. The company presently has 960 scenarios covering everything from target shooting to an active shooter hostage situation, breeching and room clearing.
MILO Range Simulator is a scalable and exceptional tool that should be a part of your training resources. The video below demonstrates a few of its direct application. MILO Range can also create custom scenarios tailored for your specific organization and / or mission.