Army Nearing Breakthrough on Night Marksmanship

110323-A-3108M-009 is running a story in the morning that lays out some of the work the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group has been doing to help trigger-pullers accurately track and hit fast-moving enemy fighters at night.

Yes, combat troops have the best-available night vision goggles and infrared illuminator/laser pointer devices. But despite its “own-the-night” focus, the U.S. Military has had little success in developing realistic night marksmanship training that replicates how fast enemy foot soldiers move between covered positions in the darkness.

 The AWG is hoping to change that.

The specialized unit has been developing new techniques of using M4-mounted IR illuminator/laser devices to effectively track and engage a new style of robotic targets at night.

I’m not saying that infantrymen and operators can’t shoot at night. I certainly would not want to run in front of them. But historically, training for engaging moving targets — day or night — has not been a priority for the U.S. Military.

The AWG’s work could rewrite the book on night marksmanship training.  Look for my Nov. 1 story detailing the effort on


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Matthew Cox
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  • Looking forward to it.

  • LRRP’n

    It’s about time. I don’t know why we were shooting from foxholes for as long as we were, so another update this “soon” is a surprise. I think shooting moving targets should be a part of BRM, but I also realize the cost of updating ranges across the nation would make this concept unrealistic with our current budget issues. Anyway, all I really trying to say is that this is a welcome update.

  • Quicksaber85

    Why not just have them shoot at night on the moving target ranges from the 150 meters and in and have them shoot from all the positions not just the fox hole. If the moving target ranges are only used during the day for new troops why not use the range for regular troops deploying at night. We made a simple human running target made from cart and placed a target in it and hooked the cart to person with two long lines and pulleys we would take turns walking and running and stopping the lines where long enough that person pulling was standing behind the shooter so they couldn’t see them take off or stop. It was a simple way of doing it and every one took turns pulling the targets so you got a different speed every time. Just by changing the pulleys we could make the target advance or retreat or run across in front of the shooter. I don’t see the need for a $100,000.00 robot.

  • Lance

    This good for AIT and regular infantry I think we must stress basic shooting fundamentals in Basic Training so this is good for regular men not trainees.

  • Grey

    We used a remote control car and helium balloons. all of a hundred fifty bucks and Wa-La. Instant moving target. You can even use two colors for hostage taking scenarios. Freaking idiots wanting to spend millions on high tech wastes of money…

  • JCitizen

    Hell we used to shoot at night targets all the time – but we gave our position away with tracers! HA!

  • 0369retired

    I can’t speak for the Army, but the Marine Corps has been training to shoot & hit moving targets during day or night operations for years. Could it be that the Army is just not as adept at doing so as the Marine Corps. Maybe the Army should learn from the Marine Corps on what realistic training is all about. Just sayin.