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New weapons simulator helps refine marksmanship skills

Staff Sgt. Ryan Gulley fires at a simulated target Jan. 26, 2015, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The new firearms simulator allows Airmen to gain real-world knowledge and experience through projections of real-life scenarios. Gulley is a 633rd Security Forces Squadron training instructor. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Areca T. Wilson)

Staff Sgt. Ryan Gulley fires at a simulated target Jan. 26, 2015, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The new firearms simulator allows Airmen to gain real-world knowledge and experience through projections of real-life scenarios. Gulley is a 633rd Security Forces Squadron training instructor. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Areca T. Wilson)

Staff Sgt. Ryan gulley fires at a simulated target Jan. 26, 2015, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. In addition to realistic scenarios, the new weapons simulator also includes target practice and gives real-time feedback to help improve form and technique. Gulley is a 633rd Security Forces Squadron training instructor. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Areca T. Wilson)

Staff Sgt. Ryan gulley fires at a simulated target Jan. 26, 2015, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. In addition to realistic scenarios, the new weapons simulator also includes target practice and gives real-time feedback to help improve form and technique. Gulley is a 633rd Security Forces Squadron training instructor. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Areca T. Wilson)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) -- Airmen from the 633rd Security Forces Squadron refined their marksmanship skills Jan. 26, using a new weapons simulator at Joint Base Langley-Eustis’ Combat Arms center.

The Meggitt Training Systems’ simulator allows Airmen to gain real-world experience with the use of realistic situations, while saving Air Force resources. By allowing Airmen to practice more before going to the range, less ammunition is used on re-shoots and the level of risk for injury is lowered.

"With use of these scenarios, Airmen can go through escalation and de-escalation situations here in a training environment," said Staff Sgt. Ron Turner, a 633rd SFS training instructor. "When they do go out on patrol, they'll be able to handle the situation correctly."

In addition to providing Airmen with knowledge on possible law enforcement developments, the simulator also allows them to use the gear they would normally use while on patrol.

According to Turner, the simulator is realistic because it uses compressed air, is the same weight as a real firearm, and uses magazines to reload the weapon. Additionally, the weapon is not tethered to a wire.

It can even help correct and improve a shooter's technique.

"With the use of marksmanship mode, the system will give problematic shooters real-time feedback," Turner said. "You can see where your weapon is pointing during the shot and (it'll notify the shooter if they) are putting too much or too little finger pressure onto the trigger. It also helps you control your breathing by giving you feedback."

Turner said because the simulator can correct technique, Airmen who do not use firearms regularly will be able to receive a little more practice before qualifying, which can save the Air Force money by not requiring Airmen to requalify.

Though the goal of using the simulator is to help Airmen gain realistic experience during training, Langley has taken a step closer to giving its Airmen enhanced training while reducing the number of Air Force assets used.

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