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Mission Training Complex simulation offers realistic training for 412th Contracting Support Brigade Soldiers

By Staff Sgt. Joe Kibe | 607th Senior Contingency Contracting Team | Sept. 25, 2014

JBSA-FT SAM HOUSTON — Soldiers from the 412th Contracting Support Brigade at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston took part in an exercise Sept. 4 designed to enhance squad and team tactics with the use of some of the most advanced training gear at the Mission Training Complex at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

The training event included the use of the Dismounted Soldier Training System, or DSTS, which immerses participants in a virtual training environment.

Brigade leaders said the Army is committed to equipping the Army Acquisition Corps with the right skills and capabilities to handle its acquisition mission, which includes providing the necessary training and career development programs to continually improve our Army's combat capability.

Rather than sitting in a simulator, the DSTS brings the simulation to the Soldier with the wear of a training suit that allows communications between members and physical use of body movements captured by the suit's sensors. Scenarios and the virtual environment are controlled by system operators. The DSTS also allows for digital playback of scenarios from varying perspectives for after-action review.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Johnson, 607th Senior Contingency Contracting Team, organized the training and led the team. MTC instructors Jacob Patrick and Aaron Basmajian provided Soldiers an initial briefing followed by detailed instructions on the DSTS
equipment.

Limited to eight sets of equipment, Soldiers were divided into two teams of four for the digital training environment. A third team with three Soldiers participated
through computerbased simulation in the MTC base operations center.

Squads went through two scenarios. The initial scenario was tailored toward familiarization with the equipment.

The second was more advanced and required teams to work together in clearing a compound to search for an operative that required capturing without eradication.
Despite suffering simulated casualties, team members achieved success and believed it was a realistic encounter.

"The DSTS was one of the better simulator trainers that I have experienced in the military," said Maj. Evan Chung, 412th CSB. "It was a fun and immersive experience that allowed me time to 'Soldier' with my peers."

Although the team building exercise met the Army requirements for annual training, leaders from the 412th CSB said it did much more than that by building camaraderie and esprit de corps amongst the teams and unit as a whole.

Brigade members have scheduled another visit for the next quarter and plan to emphasize battle skills training prior to that event to gain a greater benefit from the
simulation.