CATM Robot modernizes training at Kirtland Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Spencer Kanar
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

At Kirtland Air Force Base, the 377th Weapons Systems Security Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance unit is utilizing a robotic moving target to assist Airmen in meeting their qualification standards. This innovative tool is enhancing training efficiency by addressing previously encountered challenges. Despite its futuristic appearance, this technology is currently being implemented and utilized successfully.

“During our annual training we noticed something we could improve,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Rosenberg, 377th WSSS armory non-commissioned officer in charge. “Whenever we have to do annual qualification shooting we aren’t able to do it here at Kirtland because we just don’t have the capability.”

Rosenberg and his fellow Airmen discovered that the absence of a mobile target was the only obstacle preventing them from completing their annual training on base and meeting the required standards. They researched and proposed the idea of acquiring a robot that could be used as a moving target for their superiors. With the approval of their leaders, Rosenberg was able to use funds intended for innovative ideas to purchase two CATM robots for his unit.

“We didn’t need anything fancy,” Rosenberg said. “We just needed something that a target could be placed on and driven around at 400 yards.”

Rosenberg and his colleagues have reduced the effort needed to conduct annual training and have significantly reduced costs, thanks to the robot that eliminates the need to leave the base. This has saved the Air Force hundreds of man hours and thousands of dollars.

“We used to have to go off base every year for training and when you factor in all the expenses, it was estimated we were saving the Air Force roughly $100,000 a year.” Rosenberg said.

The robot is currently only being used for the Advanced Designated Marksman program which trains Airmen on precision rifles to give long-range capabilities in support of base security. However, Rosenberg and his peers see great potential in expanding the use of the robot to other units and perhaps throughout the entire Air Force.

“Most of the time in real life your target isn’t going to be stationary,” said Tech. Sgt. Anthony Barnot, 377th WSSS combat arms non-commissioned officer in charge. “Most personnel don’t get the opportunity to practice shooting at a moving target and this robot gives them the opportunity to practice.”

Rosenberg and Barnot are optimistic about the potential benefits that the CATM robot can provide for the mission at Kirtland Air Force Base and the Air Force overall.