by Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/23/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea (AFNS) -- The
51st Security Forces Squadron offers a different way to engage in a
shoot or no-shoot scenario at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.
The Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 is a virtual firearms simulator that
uses life-like, life-size weapons to practice marksmanship skills and
engage in real-world type scenarios. The shoot or no-shoot scenarios
allow participants to verbally engage for practice in deescalating the
situation, explained Airman 1st Class Stephen Wood, 51st Security Forces
Squadron Combat Readiness Course instructor.
"A shoot, no-shoot scenario is a scenario in which you arrive on scene
and you have to make the decision of what level of force is necessary
per the use of force regulations," Wood said. "Depending on what actions
the suspect in the simulator takes the security forces members decides
whether or not he is authorized to shoot or not, then the EST operator
will go over the scenario with the security forces member and have them
justify why the used the level of force they chose and how they handled
The trainer is an alternative to the actual range and gives a life-like
approach to different scenarios such as domestic disputes and base
exchange hold ups.
"In all the scenarios you are dealing with a person or people who are
disgruntled and the security forces member is supposed to use verbal
judo to get an understanding of the situation at hand and deescalate it;
however, the EST 2000 operator can choose to escalate the situation at
which time the security forces member needs to respond accordingly,"
The trainer incorporates several weapons such as the M-240 machine gun,
M-4 rifle and M-9 pistol for virtual training scenarios that allow
Airmen to differentiate between hostile and non-hostile forces in a
combat situation. It also allows security forces Airmen to satisfy
training requirements for use-of-force and alleviates ammunition costs
on base, said Staff Sgt. Timothy Dent, 51st SFS CRC instructor.
The trainer is not used exclusively by security forces, however. A group
of five 51st Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal
technicians worked with the EST 2000 for exposure to situations they may
encounter when in the field.
"This lets the guys get out of the shop to blow off some steam and have
some fun," said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Miller, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron
Explosive Ordinance Disposal craftsman, after a training session with
the EST 2000. "We're honing in on some skills. It's not very often we
get a chance to shoot, so this gives us an excellent opportunity to do
some joint training with the security forces team."
Although the virtual range may have different effects than shooting with
live ammunition, there is still a learning experience to be had here,
The EST 2000 is a controlled, more comfortable alternative to the actual
range, Miller explained. There are loud noises and a bit of recoil with
the weapons to add realism.
"There are a lot of advantages to the EST 2000," Wood said. "You do not
need any live rounds, so if you are utilizing the system for
marksmanship practice there is no need for loading rounds into
magazines, no major safety considerations, no cleanup of brass and no
cost for ammunition.
Also, the EST 2000 allows you to get realistic training in handling
situations as they develop and escalate or deescalate. Since it
simulates real people and real scenarios it is a huge step up from just
shooting at paper targets. It gives it more of a life-like feel, and
with the people on the simulator going down when you shoot them it puts
things a little more into perspective."
There is still a degree of separation, Wood explained. Even though the simulator is life-like, it is not real.
"Studies have been shown that it's harder for people to pull the trigger
when they are used to firing at a circular white target or green
silhouette target as opposed to a life-like target," said Dent. "The
moving target makes them better prepared when the time comes."
With advance notice, sessions with the EST 2000 can be scheduled with
the security forces combat readiness course team. To make an
appointment, call DSN 784-6657.