Training Aids

Training Aids are devices that help prepare soldiers for the rigors of combat by simulating artillery, hand Soldier training with a Parachute Flaregrenade, IED explosions, therefore the stress and confusion of war. In other words “train as you fight”. Realistic training is a critical component of soldier training, and factors that create realism - smoke, dust, noise, and pressure - all help create the confusion associated with realistic battle conditions. Many of the tasks that soldiers are required to train on prior to deployment concentrate on reaction to contact and combat contact normally takes the form of an explosion from either indirect fire or an improvised explosive device, or IED.  Training Aids can be used to simulate IEDs, which have caused 80 percent of the US casualties in in the current conflicts around the world. To be effective, simulated munitions are often used in concert with other simulators.

The primary training aid used is blank small arms ammunition of varying calibers. However, the Massachusetts Army National Guard uses two types of simulated small arms munitions at Camp Edwards: the Ultimate Training Munitions (UTM) Man Marker Round and a Simunitions FX Marking Round. These munitions simulate being fired at with real ammunition. When this ammunition is used, a small paint ball is fired that is still quite dangerous if protective equipment is not utilized. Soldiers wear simulated body armor that matches the weight and size of currently used protective equipment and protects them from the simulated munition projectile.

Two types of hand grenade simulators have been approved for use at Camp Edwards. The M116A1 Hand Grenade Simulator was approved for use at Camp Edwards in March 2010 and is used to simulate the noise and shock of a grenade.  In 2013, the M69 Hand Grenade Simulator was approved for use on Camp Edwards. The M69 provides realistic training and familiarizes soldiers with the functioning of a fragmentation hand grenade. The average soldier can throw the M69 approximately 40 meters (131 feet). After a delay of four to five seconds, the M69 emits a small puff of white smoke and makes a popping noise. The grenade bodies are reused repeatedly by replacing the fuse assembly.

In accordance with Chapter 47 the Acts of 2002 and its associated Environmental Performance Standards, Camp Edwards develops Standard Operating Procedures for all training aids approved for use by the Environmental Management Commission and the Massachusetts Army National Guard.  These plans allow for maximum effective use of the training aids while providing for environmental protection and site sustainability.