Simulated Firearms Training System, “Game Changer” for UCP Sailors > Naval Sea Systems Command > Recorded News Module

Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) sailors assigned to vessels located at the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine now have access to a new use of force simulation option to complete their weapons qualification training.

The Firearms Training System (FATS) provides full experience in the use of the manipulation and application of force options, allowing freedom of movement, unhindered by a tether. Compressed air provides realistic recoil and wireless technology is used to communicate precisely where simulated shots impacted the system.

While gun simulators have long been used by the Navy, there was a need to provide a sustainment training effort for UCP sailors at shipyards, such as Bath. The system was purchased by the Surface Ship Training Integration Program, the Fleet Introductory Officer responsible for supporting assembly training and certification of new construction crews.

“The FATS trainer is a game-changer. Anytime you can leverage high-end technology and simulation to create real-world environments for training, you should leverage it,” said Bob Kerno, program manager principal, surface formation systems.

Many sailors will complete their first live-fire training requirements at the pre-commissioning detachment in Norfolk or San Diego. With semester qualification standards, sailors require additional training at the PCU. The pre-commissioning phase makes weapons qualifications difficult due to the lack of local firing ranges. Sailors often have to travel long distances just to meet their training requirements.

The PCU crew must also complete counter-terrorism/force protection certification immediately after the crew moves aboard. The FATS system provides a valuable resource to support this while minimizing the impact on an already compressed schedule.

“The safe and effective use of small arms for force protection and combat operations is significantly enhanced by increased rehearsals and sets. FATS gives Sailors the opportunity to train in a classroom environment that enhances their capabilities but also saves the government money on travel, travel time and ammunition,” Kerno said.

The Director, Surface Vessel Maintenance and Modernization (SEA 21) manages the full life cycle support of non-nuclear surface vessels, including introduction, maintenance and modernization. Through planned modernization and upgrade programs, SEA 21 will equip today’s surface vessels with the latest technologies and systems to keep them in the fleet throughout their lifetime.

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