The Richmond Register

Local News

January 31, 2014

EKU Army ROTC cadets train with virtual programs

General visits Thursday

RICHMOND — Army ROTC cadets were target shooting Thursday with M-4 and M-16 rifles, patrolling the battlefield and engaging the enemy, all within Eastern Kentucky University’s temperature-controlled Begley Building.

The rifles were armed with lasers instead of bullets, and the enemy was “engaged” on video screens.

Eastern’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is the first program in the nation to have an on-site virtual training lab, said Lt. Col. Ralph Hudnall, professor of military science at EKU.

"We're setting the standard," he said. "Our program is on the cutting-edge of ROTC training."

Cadets were using Virtual Battlespace 2 and the Engagement Skills Trainer, both designed to simulate real-life military scenarios, said Capt. Michael Blakley, assistant professor of military science.

“This is a way for us to duplicate squad training while in an indoors, virtual environment,” Blakley said.

Cadets sat around a group of networked computers provided by the university, prepping for a mission, reacting to artillery strikes and making contact with the enemy.

Imagine the first-person and third-person video game Call of Duty, Blakley said. “This is a different approach to training.”

Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, the Army’s deputy ROTC commander, visited Thursday to observe how EKU cadets used virtual training. Her visit will help determine “if this is something we can use on a larger scale” for all ROTC programs.

EKU cadets seem to enjoy “great support from the school,” Gervais said. “They have good facilities, outstanding cadets and a great relationship with the Blue Grass Army Depot.”

She and the cadets ate lunch with Col. Lee Hudson, the BGAD commander, before returning to EKU for the virtual exercises.

Cadets training with the virtual program said the feel of the rifles and the recoil while shooting feels similar to the real thing, only the guns are “not as loud and you don’t have to clean up shell casings,” one of them said.

The weapons even look real. The M-4 is complete with quad rails to attach a scope or laser and the M-16A2 is a little heavier and longer, the cadets said.

Cadet Battalion Commander Brian Wade and his classmates in the senior-level course Military Science 4 plan and conduct labs and live exercises each week, as they did Thursday.

The cadets are preparing for this summer’s Leadership Development and Assessment Course, the Army’s largest training exercise. While usually conducted in Washington, it has moved to Fort Knox this year, Wade said.

“This is the capstone event for cadets; to demonstrate everything they’ve been taught,” said Master Sgt. Thomas Dougherty, senior military instructor for the ROTC program at EKU. 

The ultimate goal of the ROTC program is to train commissioned officers for the military, he said.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • County’s jobless rate improves

    Madison County’s unemployment rate for June, 6.5 percent, was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier and 0.2 points lower than in May.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

Yes
No
     View Results