ORLANDO, Fla. — The scenario: You walk into your house and there's a man kneeling on the floor, caught red-handed rooting through a bag, and he's claiming: "It's not what it looks like."

Then it looks like he's about to pull a gun on you, but you're armed; you have a license to carry a concealed weapon. You pull your gun out faster and you shoot several times, watching the man fall to the floor.

In reality, this is a simulator and you aren't shooting at the man, you are shooting at his reflection in a large mirror encased in a black box called a proprietary reflective target. The man is standing on the other side of a divider.

General Dynamics and Troysgate, Inc. — a small business headquartered in Lenoir, North Carolina — have developed the InForce Advanced Live Combat System Training solution to close a gap in military and law enforcement training that falls between virtual and live fire. The company brought the simulator to the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Florida, allowing visitors to its booth to try it out using blanks.

Normally, however, the guns in the simulators use live ammunition, and GD has added the capability to detect the accuracy of the shooters' hits.

"It has long been documented that soldiers and officers alike, despite thousands of hours of firearms and weapon training, have a natural tendency to hesitate when it comes to discharging their weapon at another human," a company statement said.

GD points to recent law enforcement officer-involved shootings that highlight the difficulty of choosing whether to fire a gun in "complex, fast-paced, ambiguous situations."

By involving real humans, rather than avatars, and real guns in the simulation, the system is able to focus on the human psyche during an engagement.

The simulator allows the trainees to use their own weapons, ammunition and other kit during the scenarios, and they encounter human role players. Everything is recorded so trainees can assess the engagements in after-action reviews.

Troysgate's contribution to the simulation is the reflective, live-fire, shoot-through target keeping both the trainee and the role player safe from flying bullets. According to GD, the target can withstand more than 1,000 rounds before replacement is needed. The target is lightweight and can be integrated into existing ranges and shoot houses.

Newest to the simulation is GD Information Technology's wireless hit-detection and participant-tracking solution, which made its public debut at I/ITSEC. On a screen outside of the simulator is a grid that represents the mirror. Overlayed on the grid are the shadows of the role player and the trainee picked up in real time using infrared detection technology.

Each role player in the simulator is given a wireless vibrator pack that indicates if they've he's been shot, which and tells the role player to react to the hit.

The simulator can be used during the day and or night.

The system "is the only force-on-force, live-fire training solution, allowing operators to train tactics, exercise judgment and identify operational deficiencies while under the extremely high stress of a live engagement," the company General Dynamics said.

Email: jjudson@defensenews.com

Twitter: @JenJudson

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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