Thursday, March 21, 2013

[344] MTSU military science unveils upgrade to indoor training simulator

For release:  March 12, 2013

News and Media Relations contact: Jimmy Hart, 615-898-5131 or
Editorial contact: Lt. Col. Joel Miller, 615-898-2406 or

MTSU military science unveils upgrade to indoor training simulator

MURFREESBORO — MTSU ROTC cadets have more opportunity to sharpen their shooting and tactical skills following an upgrade unveiled recently at the military science program’s indoor rifle range simulator.

MTSU provided funding for an additional five-lane, $116,000 trainer unit, bringing to 10 the number of lanes available at the Engagement Skills Trainer. At a March 8 open house, university leaders could view and shoot at the range, which is located in the ROTC Annex on campus.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joel Miller, professor of military science and department chair, said the open house was simply a way for his department to thank university officials for supporting the program. The U.S. Army funded the initial five-lane trainer unit.

“This was a joint effort between the Army and the university to provide us with a complete 10-lane system,” said Miller, who joined other officers to instruct cadets during the open-house target practice demonstration.

The simulator uses computers, lasers, projectors and pneumatic weapons to provide a realistic experience of firing a weapon, including recoil and sound. The sound is lowered enough, however, so that cadets don’t have to wear the ear protection required at a live range.

Senior ROTC Cadet Jenine Fajardo, 21, of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., said the simulator is an effective, efficient way for cadets to practice without the expense that comes from using real ammunition at a live firing range.

“I think the simulator helps us before we get to the live range,” Fajardo said. “It helps us before we have to get out there and qualify to be an officer. … It’s a very realistic scenario.”

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jonathan Bright, a senior military instructor, said the simulator prepares the cadets on the fundamentals of using and firing the M4 assault rifle.

“Everything feels exactly like the (real) rifle,” Bright said. “The trigger squeeze, everything that you would do on an actual range is set up in this, except it’s with computers and lasers.”

Greg Schmidt, an associate professor in psychology, was among the faculty and university administrators who attended the event and tried out the simulator. He was impressed.

“It’s training without the expense,” said Schmidt. “You can see the benefit of it.”

The professor noted that it was the first time he’d fired a gun “in years,” adding that doing so gave him greater appreciation for what the cadets go through in trying to become commissioned officers.

“It was tiring,” he said.


About MTSU

Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training, MTSU is now the oldest and largest public university in Middle Tennessee. With an enrollment of more than 25,000 students, MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in Tennessee.

MTSU remains committed to providing individualized service in an exciting and nurturing atmosphere where student success is the top priority. With a wide variety of nationally recognized academic degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, MTSU takes pride in educating the best and the brightest students from Tennessee and around the world.


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