How does a lethal security force maintain proficiency without firing one bullet? The answer: a laser-driven weapons modification system called Multiple Interactive Learning/Training Objectives (MILO) Range.
Chief Master-at-Arms Mark Durben, USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) security department’s operations leading chief petty officer, from Chosocton, Ohio, said the MILO Range system modifies the weapons that security personnel currently use, like the M4 rifle, M9 pistol and M500 shotgun, with a laser system that replaces the bolts and firing pins within the weapons with laser-targeting technology. Compressed gas cartridges are utilized to mimic recoil, and speakers from the software emit gunshot noises so the trainee can get similar sensations to what they would experience at a live-fire range.
The MILO Range platform has dozens of scenarios to train security Sailors in “shoot, no-shoot” situations.
“Hostage situations, domestic violence scenarios, K-9 intervention, entry control point (ECP) checks and vehicle stops are just a handful of the training environments we use,” said Master Chief Master-at-Arms Jason Meares, from Wilmington, North Carolina, John C. Stennis’ security department’s departmental leading chief petty officer. “This in an incredibly valuable tool we have at our disposal. The best part of the training system is the debrief portion.”
After a Sailor completes a training scenario, whether a master-at-arms or part of the in-port security force put in place to augment the ship’s defenses while pierside, an instructor will walk them through why and how they made some of their decisions.
“The Sailor gets to interact with the program, then we (instructors) examine their motives and tactics afterward,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Keith Danalewich, from Palos Hills, Illinois. “The patrolman can hone their suspect/victim recognition skills, something that is usually very difficult to practice while at sea.”
Although laser practice systems have existed in shore-based ranges and training facilities, this is the first time the MILO Range has been used at sea aboard John C. Stennis.
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
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