Army conducts direct-fire small arms test in synthetic training environment

By Dan Schere / January 27, 2023 at 9:30 AM

The Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation conducted a test this week at Ft. Irwin, CA that simulated various direct-fire scenarios involving small arms, officials said during a media briefing Thursday.

The PEO STRI’s Agile Acquisition Response, or STAAR, team has recently been conducting a series of soldier touchpoints for scenarios including direct and indirect fires, counter defilade target engagement, thrown grenades, placed munitions, guided missiles and attack drones.

STAAR was created in 2021 as a way to bring subject-matter expects together in order to field new technologies two and a half years earlier than expected, Tim Bishop, the deputy program executive officer for STRI said Thursday.

Currently, the office can support 60% of engagement on the battlefield in a direct-fire capacity, Bishop said.

“What we were challenged by the chief of staff of the Army to do was to get after filling the void of that 40%,” he said.

Curtis Leslie, the director of the STAAR team, said Thursday the Army is currently conducting a series of six soldier touchpoints that will help address current training capability gaps for new weapon systems that are to be introduced.

The test conducted Wednesday involved soldiers shooting at various targets from different distances to determine the accuracy of transmitters, Leslie said. The prototype system that was tested, he said, received positive feedback from soldiers during an after-action review.

“They really liked the fact that we developed some capabilities that are much lighter and smaller and compact,” he said. “So the goal here is to provide them with systems that don’t weigh them down, that increases probability of safety and lowers risk across the board, and allows them to maneuver more effectively as if they were in a real fight.”