I recently had a dangerous incident at my security job where I almost had to shoot a person with a knife that was about to attack her boyfriend. The scare served as a bold reminder that a self defense situation could arise at any time, and that my chances of survival would be best served if I don’t let myself get rusty. With that in mind, I made sure to free up some time to go to the range. Fortunately, while I was there, I overheard a couple of the employees discussing the new firearms training simulator that had just arrived. Naturally, I had to ask them about it and in so doing found myself introduced to Al Uy of Castellum Development, Inc. Uy gave me a rundown of how the MILO Classic Training System works and gave me the chance to take a training session with him.
Force-on-Force Simulator Training
For those of you who aren’t familiar with firearms training simulators, let me break down how it works. The MILO training simulator includes a projector, a sensor, a laptop (with the training software installed), and training self defense implements, namely a training Glock 17R model gun, a training X-26 TASER model EDM, and a training OC spray model unit. An instructor runs the program from the laptop, which projects any number of dangerous scenarios (including force on force training scenarios). As the scene plays out, the student has to decide how to address the threat, and if it escalates to the point that they need to draw a self defense tool, the sensor picks up where the shots were fired and records them in the program for the instructor to review, play back, and give feedback. As my instructor for the experience, I found Al Uy to be exceptionally patient, informative, and engaged, which made the simulator training experience that much more valuable to me.
Granted, a pre-recorded scenario projected for a firearms training simulator doesn’t allow the student to interface with a simulated threat in the way a real [human] threat would, but it still allows the student to develop skills that apply to real-world scenarios. And, more importantly, it lets them do it in a completely safe environment. You might be surprised just how effective the simulator can be. During my time in the training room, I found myself yelling commands at the virtual attackers while my adrenaline started flowing. Despite a lack of physical threat, I experienced similar reactions to high stress that I have in real danger situations, such as fine motor skill degradation, tunnel vision, and even perceived hearing loss. The training scenarios are widely varied, as well, which kept the experience fresh, and me on my toes, whether I was confronting an active shooter, or encountering a passed out drunk guy at a bar.
Castellum Development offers a range simulator rental program. Their website outlines the first week of simulator rental costs $1,800, but every week after that first one is only $500. This may sound like a pricey endeavor, but if the range renting the simulator runs simulator exercises for multiple users, the cost is a little easier to manage. For example, the range where I discovered the MILO Classic Training System, On Target Sports in Orange Park, FL, charged $30 for a half hour training session. I could spend that in ammo alone and not get the benefits of personal access to a firearms instructor, or the force on force training scenarios. For me, those advantages were more than enough to balance the price of the half hour.
I have to admit, the MILO training simulator left me with a positive impression. Between Al Uy’s instruction, and the stress of encountering a time-is-life situation (but in a safe, controlled environement) combined to make my training experience a valuable one. And, because of the range rental program, the value of the half hour simulator training was well worth the $30 I shelled out for it. When will you try it?
Featured image courtesy of policemag.com