Members of the public, law enforcement officials and first responders, were among the first to participate in a demonstration of an European interactive, smart targeting system being made available to police and the military in the United States.
Falcon Tactical Solutions, a Beemen, Belgium-based supplier of tactical equipment and training for European military and police units demonstrated the Secotron interactive, smart target system, during an open house and demonstration, Wednesday, at the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, headquarters of Tripwire Operations Group.
Tripwire is an international company, which has provided training and products to the U.S. Department of Defense, manufactures and markets customized military-style firearms; offers bomb detection and neutralization training, and trains bomb/narcotics K-9 units for the military, law enforcement and first responders. Tripwire, which sells explosives, also provides special effects explosions for film and TV; and other security services, products and training.
Jean Nicodeme and Els Fallein, managing directors for Falcon Tactical Solutions, demonstrated the smart target system, using an active shooter/hostage scenario at Allstar Sports Complex, south of Gettysburg. (Click here to view video of military and law enforcement personnel using Secotron Target System).
Nicodeme, a retired captain of the Belgium Federal Police, in Brussels and Fallein operated the interactive Secotron iTE410 and iTE400 movable smart targets to demonstrate how Belgium and other European military and police forces train to clear a building occupied by an unknown number of armed suspects and unarmed civilians. Adams County Sheriff James W. Muller, was one of a number of guests who took turns using the training system.
Armed with a standard issue police handgun, loaded with Force on Force training ammunition, Sheriff Muller entered the target-equipped area, shouting freeze at the first target, a man armed with a semi-automatic weapon. After firing several shots, which hit and neutralized the first target, Muller faced a pop-up target of an unarmed female.
Each step of the way through the five-target scenario, Muller had to quickly determine if the targets represented armed suspects or unarmed civilians, and take appropriate action—shoot or not shoot and advance to the next target. Muller said the Secotron smart target system offered more advanced training than standard stationary targets.
Any small arms weapons can be adapted to fire Force on Force training ammunition, said Nicodeme, who operated the targets with a wireless controller. The lead-free ammunition, similar to paint gun pellets, can be fired from actual duty service handguns.
Tripwire CEO, Ryan J. Morris, who is also a part-time police officer with the Highspire Borough Police Department, said Secotron provides a more realistic training scenario than standard, static targets. The system is composed of battery-powered, programmable base units which support and move the targets. It can be used with real ammo or training ammo. Targets pop up, turn, and react to hits or misses.
Kristy Dimier, of Moyock, North Carolina, took a turn completing the scenario. Dimier, who was in the military, said the training system posed more of a challenge than firing at a typical shooting range target.
Used by military and law enforcement units in Europe, the system can be programmed for various training scenarios. Nicodeme said the smart targets can be used for training in a shoot house; CQB, (close quarters battle); or indoors or outdoors. It is a portable, easy to use, system.
Designed to train police and military personnel to be alert to their surroundings, the smart targets can be used in tandem with simulated explosions, changes in ambient light and other environmental factors. An instructor has the ability to change the target responses at any time during a training session. Tripwire is now licensed to market the Secotron system in the United States, Morris said.
“Personnel entering a situation with an active shooter, have to be alert to every aspect of their surroundings,” Morris said. “The ability to be aware of all the elements present in an actual shooter situation, can make the difference between life and death for civilians and police officers.”
Tripwire has a second training facility located on 25,000 acres near Lanett Alabama. Known as Camp High Order, the facilities are used to train military and law enforcement to identify, recognize and neutralizie large explosive devices, such as car and truck bombs. During the winter, the Alabama site hosts training for the Washington metro police department K-9 division, and for other police K-9 units.