By Sgt. Liane Hatch | 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORT CARSON, Colo. — In the midst of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson COVID-19 restrictions, which limit how many Soldiers may gather at once, the Fort Carson Training Support Center (TSC) has adapted its Javelin Basic Skills Trainer (BST) and Field Tactical Trainer (FTT) courses to continue training small groups of qualified NCOs.
Beginning mid-May 2020, and continuing into early June 2020, the TSC has taught weekly three-day “train the trainer” type courses to groups of four NCOs from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Typically, the TSC teaches these classes to eight NCOs at once; however, for the safety of the Soldiers and TSC instructors, the classes were scaled down, and participants spent their time in class wearing facemasks and maintaining appropriate distancing from each other.
“The COVID(-19) pandemic didn’t affect the quality of the course at all,” said Sgt. Born Farmer, infantry team leader with 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd ABCT. “The instructors were still able to provide all of the knowledge we needed to become proficient in these systems.”
While Farmer said he considers himself familiar with the FGM-148 Javelin, a portable anti-tank missile which he has fired live rounds from, the course taught him skills and resources that he will be able to take back to his formation.
“The benefits of teaching Soldiers how to utilize Training Support Center training devices and simulators follows the ‘train the trainer’ mindset,” said Scott Klinger, a Fort Carson TSC training aid device simulations and simulators instructor.
“Soldiers trained in the BST/FTT course are now capable of being issued TSC equipment to take to their individual units in support of unit-level Javelin training. These Soldiers are now more lethal and proficient in their warfighting missions and can go back to their units and train more Soldiers within their formations. This process will ultimately increase the overall proficiency of (the brigade’s) Javelin capabilities.”
Klinger said the two Javelin courses, taught over three days, showed the student-Soldiers how to operate the Basic Skills Trainer, a virtual tool that simulates live weapons training, which Soldiers are most likely to use during weapons training in a garrison environment. The class also discussed the Field Tactical Trainer, which uses the multiple integrated laser engagement system, for use during field training exercises and training rotations.
Farmer said the most beneficial information he learned in the course was how to bore sight the Javelin, and he looks forward to taking his new knowledge and skillset back to his company.
The Fort Carson Training Support Center is currently the only TSC across the Army offering the Javelin Training courses, which Klinger said allowed Fort Carson Soldiers and units a greater level of preparedness for training events and real-world mission capabilities.