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Old July 15, 2005, 12:22 AM   #26
DT Guy
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I always thought it was FireArms Training Simulator, but I can't remember where I heard that!


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Old July 15, 2005, 12:47 AM   #27
clintpup
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So, it's the thing where you fire a "gun" at the big TV screen?
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Old July 15, 2005, 01:02 AM   #28
Phil Ca
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FATS was originally formulated through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia. The first films were made at FLETC and the bank scene was filmed in nearby Brunswick.

When I was notified that the FATS system was to be demonstrated in San Mateo County at the Redwood City Hall, iirc, I notified one of the lieutenants that worked in our federal office and we went down to the preview. There were city, county, and other federal agencies there as well. The salesman set up the unit and asked for volunteers to test it out. I watched as one after another of the best shots of different agencies did their best to beat the machine.

When the sales rep asked for one more volunteer I raised my hand. I went through the whole set of scenarios and the only one that I made a bobble on was the bank robbery scenario in town. I had the highest score and everyone was amazed at my score. After the demo was over I talked o the sales rep and told him that I had one slight edge over everone else. I had attended the police academy at FLETC and the scenarios were all familiar to me. There were scenes at the school store, a warehouse, various parts of the FLETC campus and I was familiaer with them all.

Our organization did not have the funds at the time to purchase the unit but we bought some 16 mm fils with various "Shoot-Don't Shoot" scenes. I set up some paper on our indoor range and showed the 16mm film and had my officers go through some training where, when the would shoot, I would freeze the frame and we could analyze their shot. This was not really that satisfactory but you make do with what you have.

Some time later when the FATS system was being tweaked into a better system I got a call from a friend in the DEA. We went to Concord and observed the FATS System with the "branching" capability. This allowed the trainee to have a different ending and that way the previous trainee could not say for certain how the scenarios ended to the next person on the range.

While the FATS ststem was a great training innovation it did not replace he need for real live gunfire with the sound, smell and feel that is associated with it. I used to take some of our more interested shooters to the South San Francisco Night Owl Shoots before the range at the shore became a building project. It was supposed to be a true test of ones ability to shoot under street light conditions using the issue equipment. While I actually believed that was the case and did my shooting with duty belt and reload strips and a flashlight on my belt, I noticed the CHP Blue Team used the speed loaders in a special plastic tray and had some modified handguns. I insisted that our unit play by the original intention of the rules. We won first place in our class at last two times. It gave our unit something to look forward to and booosted their morale.

If your organization has the opportunity to use FATS, by all means go for it. just do not let it become a replacement for real range time as a whole.
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