195th Wing; first Air National Guard unit to field unique weapon upgrade

  • Published
  • By SrA Michael Olivares
  • 195th Wing Public Affairs

How would the sound and feel of firing a real weapon impact training in an
already overwhelming scenario? This is the question being addressed at the
Street Smarts Virtual Reality (SSVR) Training system field update.

A recent software update allows for simultaneous tandem users and the new
training M4 rifle now includes a gas-powered bolt carrier recoil system,
satisfying the California standards for sustainment-level training in the
use of simulators during training.

"This system aids in the development of the "Multi-capable Airman concept,"
said Technical Sergeant Fernando Herrera, 195th Wing Security Forces
manager. "Leading to greater confidence of the Wing leadership in the
selection, training, and deployment of our Tier II forces."

The 195th Wing Security Forces Flight is based at Sepulveda Air National
Guard Station in Van Nuys, California. They received SSVR in September 2021
and installed substantial updates in October. Since then, the unit has been
successful in several trainings with positive student reviews regarding the

It is now a proven training multiplier, allowing for better
familiarization and sustainment level training for SF but more importantly,
the bulk of the 195th Wing being non-ground combat forces.
The major difference with this and previous training systems is how
realistic it feels. The participant can feel more weight and realism being
suited in a fully equipped vest and with a practice rifle that has the exact
same specifications as a real rifle, significantly improving the training

"Having a gas recoil system does several things regarding gun fighting
scenarios," said Herrera. "When the weapon fires a simulated shot, it will
demand that the operator follow marksmanship fundamentals. They will have to
regain proper sight alignment and sight picture. Further, the operator's
skills will be put to the test in rapid magazine reloading as well as
searching and assessing techniques for additional threats."

"This system is highly mobile, and user-friendly, alleviating limiting
factors such as: large training areas, weather, ground injuries, time,
transportation costs, unit funds, etc," said Herrera. "Due to the way the
195th Wing has utilized virtual reality systems in training their personnel,
outside of Security Forces, and outside of the system's originally intended
demographic, we have been specifically tapped to utilize the new version of
the M4 weapon simulator."

This innovative training update aligns with the Wing's priorities of
Training, Readiness, and Development of its Airmen, ensuring the diverse
missions of the 195th Wing will remain safe and mission-focused moving into
the future.