Troopers engage in simulated Bradley training
Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek,
4th BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs:
To set Soldiers up for success and to prevent unnecessary safety risks, the 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, held simulations on the Bradley Advanced Training System for many of its drivers and light gunners last week at the Fire Training Compound at East Fort Bliss.
“The BATS simulator is virtually exactly like a Bradley,” said Sgt. Micah Patterson, a cavalry scout assigned to B Troop, 2nd Sqdn., 13th Cav. Regt. “You don’t get that feedback feel, but Soldiers learn how to move in and out, get on targets and destroy them in as few rounds as possible.”
Inside the computer-controlled environment, Soldiers use the vehicle’s bushmaster cannon and M240 machine gun to engage targets ranging from fuel trucks, personnel carriers, tanks, helicopters and troop engagements, explained Patterson, who administered several of the simulations.
According to Patterson, the main goal of the BATS is to help familiarize Bradley drivers with turret operations and ammunition loading as well as navigating the instrumentation panels inside.
“Right now we’re working on familiarization,” he said. “We’re bringing up drivers to the gunner’s position so they can move on in their careers. This is one of the best ways we can do that.”
“From my point of view, it’s better that Soldiers come here first and do some training so they get to know how things work when they get into the Bradley,” said Spc. Mazyar Daneshgar, a driver and gunner assigned to B Troop.
With experienced noncommissioned officers running the simulator, Soldiers are able to ask questions and receive intuitive feedback in a controlled atmosphere rather than in combat, said Daneshgar.
Spending time in simulators is not only an effective way to train Soldiers on the Bradley but it is also an Army directive that Soldiers pass all BATS simulations before firing live rounds at the range, said Patterson.
“I’m trying to get them comfortable in the turret so they’re not trying to figure out what to do when it matters,” said Patterson. “This is now the standard; for safety reasons and to make sure they know how to operate the vehicle and fix malfunctions.”
“I think they’re doing well,” he continued. “They’re coming in here and learning quickly how to zero their weapon and engage their targets.”
The use of systems like the BATS not only benefits individual Soldiers, but also creates advantages for both the unit and the Army by providing a cost-effective way to increase unit proficiency.
“It’s an overall unit readiness; to be able to go out to a gunnery range, to be deployable, and knowing that the troops have been trained as best as possible,” said Patterson.
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