A Naval Marksmanship Training Transfer Study The Use of Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainers to Train for Live Fire
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The use of simulation to train watchstanders in marksmanship would provide a valuable and flexible training asset to the Navy, resulting in minimal lost training opportunities due to operational commitments at sea. We hypothesized that (1) simulation-based marksmanship training would transfer to live fire better than dry fire training, and (2) the experimental (simulation) group would have a better chance of retaining their marksmanship skills than the control group after two or four weeks with no instruction. Thirty-four active duty military volunteers were randomly assigned to receive either simulation training using the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer (ISMT) or standard naval marksmanship training and given either a two- or four-week gap between training and final live fire events. Main measures of marksmanship performance were mean point of impact (MPI) of group shots and scores on the standard Navy Handgun Qualification Course. Results partially supported the hypotheses. The simulation group showed greater improvement in MPI than the control group from baseline to live fire. However, no significant differences were found between the two- and four-week gaps in either case tested, suggesting a longer time gap is needed to test skill retention. Results suggest that simulation training is as effective as standard navy marksmanship training and would benefit the Navy to incorporate ISMT as an at-sea marksmanship trainer.
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