Service men and women use virtual technology for training at KAF - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Service men and women use virtual technology for training

Service men and women use virtual technology for training at KAFB

Officials say FATS takes some of the shock factor out of situations that could arise. (Photo source: WLOX News) Officials say FATS takes some of the shock factor out of situations that could arise. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Trainees use artificial rifles and handguns armed with compressed air for a realistic recoil effect. (Photo source: WLOX News) Trainees use artificial rifles and handguns armed with compressed air for a realistic recoil effect. (Photo source: WLOX News)
The system can replay the scenario with visual feedback. (Photo source: WLOX News) The system can replay the scenario with visual feedback. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A state-of-the-art virtual training system at Keesler Air Force Base is allowing airmen to hone their skills one scenario at a time.

Aiming at what is essentially a wall-sized video game, trainees use artificial rifles and handguns armed with compressed air for a realistic recoil effect. They then face a projection of various pre-taped scenario with actors on the wall.

"Whether it's a traffic stop, a school shooting, or if we're working the gate," said Staff Sergeant Roger Wade.

Known as virtual Firearm Training System or FATS, Wade says each scenario has a number of different outcomes.

"So, the officer has to decide whether to use force or not to use force," Wade noted. 

The system can then replay the scenario with visual feedback, and also show where the airmen were pointing their weapon and where shots were fired. Leaders say it's a good chance to put airmen through a rapidly evolving situation.

"The situation you show up to in your mind may be one thing, but it could have evolved from the time the call came in to the time you arrived," added Wade.

The system provides advantages over physical training on a course, such as being more cost and time efficient. It also allows for much more versatility in training.

"So we're able to put ourselves in those situations that have happened across the country, and we're able to see that through our own eyes," said Wade.

Officials say FATS takes some of the shock factor out of situations that could arise. Which, as a result, makes airmen more prepared for the worst case.

The virtual training is used on a continuous basis by the 403rd Wing's Security Forces Squadron.

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