Traditional marksmanship training in the Army and Marines involves static targets with the occasional moving target. The USMC’s Marine Warfighting Lab in conjuction with the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group are working on marksmanship training methods that are much more realistic.
Back in September, the Marine Warfighting Lab gathered data on different techniques using experts from the Basic School as their guinea pigs.
The Sept. 16-27 experiment had a handful of Marine instructors from The Basic School here practicing a series of techniques for hitting moving targets while shooting from the prone, kneeling and standing positions with M4 carbines and the service’s M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.
They used the tracking method, which involves leading the target before shooting at it. Marines also practiced using the ambush method, which calls for picking a fixed point in front of a moving target and firing as it moves into it.
The third technique is known as the swing through method. The newer technique has the shooter begin firing at the rear edge of the target, moving the muzzle forward to the front while continuing to fire.
The experiment also involved Marines firing in semiautomatic and three-round burst modes from the M4, and full auto from the M27.
The key to the new training are wheeled robotic targets that can move at a speed of over 8 mph. These robotic targets feature a mannequin that will drop when hit either in the head or the “spine”. Whether these targets are rolled out for training in the rest of the Marine Corps and Army may be problematic due to their cost. Each robotic targets costs $100,000!
The video below shows the training using the robots.