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Changing the Army's Weapon Training Strategies to Meet Operational Requirements More Efficiently and Effectively

Changing the Army's Weapon Training Strategies to Meet Operational Requirements More Efficiently and Effectively

James C. Crowley
Bryan W. Hallmark
Michael G. Shanley
Jerry M. Sollinger
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 100
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  • Book Info
    Changing the Army's Weapon Training Strategies to Meet Operational Requirements More Efficiently and Effectively
    Book Description:

    This report presents the results of a project supporting the Army’s efforts to adapt its weapon training strategies to better support operational requirements and unit readiness processes, take full advantage of training technologies, and increase efficiency. It outlines directions the Army could take to improve its weapon training strategies and the processes for adapting them.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8996-0
    Subjects: Business, Technology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction and Background
    (pp. 1-6)

    The ability of soldiers and crews to engage the enemy successfully has been fundamental to the operational success of the U.S. Army since its founding and remains so today. As a result, the Army devotes considerable resources and effort to developing and maintaining weapon-system proficiency. In 2010, over a billion dollars were spent to buy training ammunition, and many dollars were spent maintaining and providing the training aids, devices, simulators, simulations, ranges, and targetry (TADSS-RT) that support weapon-system training.¹

    Additionally, units have traditionally devoted considerable time to weapon-system proficiency. In 2001 and 2002, combat brigades devoted about 45 days—half...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Weapon Training Strategies and Processes for Their Development
    (pp. 7-18)

    In this chapter, we first outline the findings that arose from our examination of the training strategies of 14 weapon systems. We then present our findings and conclusions on the current state of processes for developing weapon training strategies, standards, and support.

    We examined the strategies and standards for the 14 weapon systems shown in Table 2.1.

    These systems represent a wide range of individual and crew weapon system types and account for a large percentage of the Army’s annual training ammunition expenditures. The proponents for these weapon systems are three of TRADOC’s five Centers of Excellence. Additionally, while the...

  11. CHAPTER THREE The Potential of Simulators to Improve Weapon Training Strategies and Make Them More Efficient
    (pp. 19-26)

    In this chapter we first outline our findings and then our conclusions on the potential of simulators.

    Conceptually, weapon system simulators have considerable potential to augment live-fire training methods and improve weapon training effectiveness and efficiency. Potential improvements are outlined in Table 3.1.

    In addition to increased training effectiveness, simulations offer the potential to reduce costs. Simulators can allow problem shooters and crews to be identified early and receive focused training. They can also support engagement skill sustainment. As a result, fewer soldiers/crews would need to refire to qualify and higher overall live-fire performance could be acheived. Finally, simulators have...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Current Small-Arms Training Strategies
    (pp. 27-40)

    In Chapters Two and Three, we examined the Army’s process for developing weapon system training strategies and the potential of simulators to improve weapon training and make it more efficient. We did this by examining a wide set of weapon systems. In this chapter, we begin our examination of directions the Army could take to improve these strategies by making them more relevant to current and near-term operational requirements, improving their support to ARFORGEN unit readiness processes, and making them more efficient.

    We do this by examining three small arms: the M16/M4 rifle, the M249 SAW, and the M240B 7.62mm...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Improving Small-Arms Training Strategies
    (pp. 41-52)

    In this chapter, we outline considerations, principles, and specific directions the Army should consider in its ongoing efforts to make small-arms strategies more effective and efficient. This effort necessarily involved judgment on the part of the research team, but we sought and considered the input of a range of knowledgeable members of the small-arms training community, including trainers from the Army Marksmanship Unit, Special Forces small-arms trainers at Fort Bragg, and staff at the Maneuver COE who are currently in the process of developing revised small-arms training strategies. In general, what we outline aligns with the Maneuver COE’s revision efforts...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Developing and Assessing Options for Making Weapon Training Strategies More Efficient
    (pp. 53-62)

    In this chapter, we outline and examine several possible alternatives to the current M4/M16 individual record-fire qualification. Our purpose for developing and comparing these options is to show approaches the Army could use to develop and assess the viability of alternative courses of action, including different mixes of live and virtual means, to improve weapon training strategies.

    We analyzed M4/M16 individual rifle record-fire training and qualification (and alternatives to these two linked events), but much of the underlying logic and results could apply to other rifle training events and other weapon system training strategies.

    We selected the M4/M16 as an...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Improving the Wider Range of Weapon Training Strategies—Conclusions, Directions, and Implications
    (pp. 63-72)

    In this chapter, we first present conclusions we drew from applying the results of our examination of small-arms training strategies to the full range of weapon training strategies outlined in Chapter Two. Second, we outline directions the Army could take to improve its processes for developing and improving its weapon training strategies. Finally, we present the implications this examination of weapon training strategies has for the broader range of the Army’s training and leader development programs.

    Our review of small-arms training strategies showed that each weapon system is different, requiring different sets of tasks and skills; therefore the training strategy...

  16. References
    (pp. 73-76)