Army National Guard trains for combat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Army National Guard trains for combat

May 7, 2003

Valdosta - Training missions never stop for the Army National Guard. "The more time we spend training, the better we are," said Sgt. Cliff Boutwell.

Their newest tool is the Engagement Skills Trainer. "Its a computer based simulator that allows us to encounter everything we would in an actual combat situation," said Boutwell.

The situation may be simulated but the weapons are real. "They're not toys, they're actual guns that have been specially designed to shoot lasers," said Staff Sergeant Alan McGuffee.

The engagement skills training allows the Army National Guard to simulate anything from weapons malfunction to severe weather. They say its the best kind of training to prepare them for combat. "We can go from cold weather to rain, snow, and basically anything you could imagine," said McGuffee.

They can even design their own scenario. "If we're out at Ft. Stewart doing our battle training and we come to an odd situation or encounter, we can come back and put it into this computer and make it one of our environments," said Boutwell.

Their next deployment is still unknown, but this unit is certain that training like this will prepare them for anything.

posted at 2:30 by ashley.harper@walb.com

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