Soldiers from 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion train with the Army's Squad Advanced Marksmanship Trainer (SAM-T) at Fort Drum. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Phillip Tross)
10th Mountain Division Soldiers build skills
on Squad Advanced Marksmanship-Trainer
Capt. Matthew Pargett
27th Public Affairs Detachment
FORT DRUM, NY (March 25, 2019) – Soldiers from 10th Mountain Division (LI) were some of the first outside of training units to test the Squad Advanced Marksmanship-Trainer system, March 20-21, at Fort Drum.
Beginning with weapons familiarization on the M4 carbine, M249 light machine gun and M9 Beretta pistol simulated weapon systems, Soldiers from 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, commented on the differences between SAM-T and other training systems.
“It was a lot different from what I was expecting,” said Pfc. Sean Jacobs. “I thought it was going to be an expanded EST (Engagement Skills Trainer), but it turned out to be something entirely different. This new program delves into more squad tactics and is not a static engagement.”
While conducting squad movements, Soldiers could maneuver through physical obstacles while reacting to an on-screen virtual simulation.
“We weren’t tethered to anything like we are at an EST, so we could move freely when doing squad-level drills with a wall-sized screen,” said Sgt. Micah Yaklich. “The weapons, and even the magazines, had the same weight and feel of our regular systems.”
Using the system’s ability to simulate different training scenarios, such as room-clearing, the squads that participated were able to react to the on-screen avatars controlled by a system operator nearby.
“In a five-man team, you have different scenarios and on-screen characters that interact with you, such as civilians and enemy who respond differently through the training,” Jacobs said.
At the end of the training, Soldiers shared their thoughts on the SAM-T system.
“I think everyone needs to go through it – infantrymen, truck drivers, cooks, everyone – because at the end of the day, you’re a rifleman first,” said Pfc. Blake Smith.