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The U.S. Army Sniper School hosted a live-fire exercise April 29 at Burroughs Range on Harmony Church using robotic human-type targets to demonstrate possible inclusion into the sniper program of instruction training and future individual marksmanship and maneuver live-fire training.
According to an information training aid onsite, the RHTT is a Wi-Fi-based, live-fire capable, autonomous robot that can be used to promote the development of 21st century competencies required of Soldiers as part of the Army Learning Model.
With current targets limited to fixed rail systems, three-dimensional human-sized robots are designed to maneuver at various speeds to resemble human movement and provide immediate feedback.
Sgt. 1st Class Alec Rubenstein, Soldier survival NCO for the Asymmetric Warfare Group, said the demonstration helps evaluate the effectiveness of RHTTs and the ability to train Soldiers to effectively engage targets in a combat-replicated scenarios.
"We saw so many different facets that we didn't think about terms of leadership, development and critical thinking," Rubenstein said. "This is the opportunity for us to build a military utility assessment and look at the opportunity to build a requirement for something like this capability."
Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Mangione, NCOIC for the Sniper School, said Soldiers were given several days of training to build confidence and evaluate their capabilities in real-world battlefield scenarios. While they initially struggled in approaching moving targets, Mangione said the training allowed a proper assessment of how Soldiers can quickly adapt and improve.
"This is going to make us re-evaluate the way we do business, not just us snipers but in general with marksmanship training and taking it to the next level, and allowing us to create battlefield scenarios so our Soldiers see that before they go into combat," he said.
Infantry School commandant, Col. Robert Choppa, said technology like RHTTs will create advantages for future training.
"I think this is going to change how we train Soldiers the most," he said. "(In the past) we learned to shoot targets in your lane - you didn't look left or right - but this opens up the whole battlefield. From basic training through Sniper School, this will change the way we do marksmanship."