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Title:
RE-CONFIGURABLE ARMORED TACTICAL PERSONNEL AND COLLECTIVE TRAINING FACILITY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/048325
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
The present invention is generally directed to a reconfigurable armored unit for use in live fire training exercises. In one aspect, a reconfigurable training facility is provided. The reconfigurable training facility includes a first modular unit having at least one subsystem and a second modular unit having at least one subsystem. Each modular unit is constructed from a standard structural footprint and each modular unit includes at least one bullet containment wall. The reconfigurable training facility further includes a control member, wherein the subsystem in each modular unit is controlled by the control member. In another aspect, a modular unit for use in a reconfigurable training facility is provided. In yet another aspect, a method of forming a reconfigurable training facility is provided. In a further aspect, a method of building a scenario in a graphical space is provided.

Inventors:
WARMINSKY, Michael F. (116 Wertsville Road, Ringoes, New Jersey, 08551, US)
Application Number:
US2006/060517
Publication Date:
April 02, 2009
Filing Date:
November 03, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AMEC EARTH & ENVIRONMENT, INC. (One Plymouth Meeting, Suite 850Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, 19462, US)
WARMINSKY, Michael F. (116 Wertsville Road, Ringoes, New Jersey, 08551, US)
International Classes:
E04H1/02; E04H9/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATTERSON, B Todd et al. (Patterson & Sheridan Llp, 3040 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 150, Houston Texas, 77056, US)
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Claims:

Claims:

1. A reconfigurable training facility comprising: a first modular unit having at least one subsystem; a second modular unit having at least one subsystem, wherein each modular unit is constructed from a standard structural footprint and each modular unit includes at least one bullet containment wall; and a control member, wherein the subsystem in each modular unit is controlled by the control member.

2. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , wherein the second modular unit is disposed next to the first modular unit in a side by side configuration.

3. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , wherein the second modular unit is disposed on top of the first modular unit in a stacked configuration.

4. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , wherein the at least one subsystem is an airflow ceiling ventilation system for circulating air through the modular unit.

5. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , wherein each modular unit is configured to be interconnectable with another modular unit.

6. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , wherein each modular unit is connectable to the control member by an umbilical cord.

7. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , wherein each modular unit is containerized.

8. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , wherein each modular unit includes at least four walls, a floor member, and a ceiling member.

9. The reconfigurable training facility of claim 1 , further including a third modular unit disposable adjacent the first and the second modular unit.

10. A modular unit for use in a training facility, the modular unit comprising: a portable structural member, the portable structural member is configured to be interconnectable with another portable structural member; at least one bullet containment wall inside the portable structural member; and at least one subsystem for providing a controlled environment inside the portable structural member.

11. The modular unit of claim 10, further including a control member for manipulating the at least one subsystem.

12. The modular unit of claim 11 , further including an umbilical cord for attaching the at least one subsystem to the control member.

13. The modular unit of claim 10, wherein the at least one subsystem is an airflow ceiling ventilation system for circulating air through the portable structural member.

14. The modular unit of claim 10, further including at least one breaching wall to gain entry into the portable structural member.

15. A method of forming a training facility, the method comprising: positioning a first modular unit at a predetermined location, the first modular unit having at least one subsystem and at least one bullet containment wall; positioning a second modular unit relative to the first modular unit, the second modular unit having at least one subsystem and at least one bullet containment wall; and connecting the subsystems together and controlling each subsystem.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the second modular unit is disposed next to the first modular unit in a side by side configuration.

17. The method of claim 16, further including positioning a third modular unit on top of the first modular unit.

18. The method of claim 15, wherein the second modular unit is disposed on top of the first modular unit in a stacked configuration.

19. The method of claim 18, further including stacking a third modular unit and a fourth modular unit on top of the second modular unit to form a multistory training facility.

20. The method of claim 15, further including reconfiguring the position of the first modular unit relative to the second modular unit.

21. A method of building a scenario in a graphical space, the method comprising: providing modules to construct the scenario; transporting the modules to a location; and configuring the modules in a predetermined configuration.

22. The method of claim 21 , wherein the graphical space is a computer.

Description:

RE-CONFIGURABLE ARMORED TACTICAL PERSONNEL AND COLLECTIVE TRAINING FACILITY

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention

[0001] Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to a training facility for military and law enforcement personnel. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention pertain to a reconfigurable armored unit for use in live fire training exercises.

Description of the Related Art

[0002] To maintain proficiency in the use of firearms, typically military and law enforcement personnel engage in target practice. Traditionally, target practice has been conducted on a range in which targets were placed a distance away from the shooter. However, target practice on a range does not adequately train military and law enforcement personnel for many real life situations. Therefore, structures that include ballistic walls in arrangements to resemble a house or other building were formed. These structures, typically referred to as shoot houses, enable military and law enforcement personnel to train in situations in which the officer faces realistic threats to their safety.

[0003] Traditional shoot houses were originally constructed out of concrete, gravel filled walls, or tire walls. While these shoot houses provided a marked improvement over traditional training at a target range, they still do not feel as realistic as conventional looking walls.

[0004] As technology improved, the traditional shoot house became more sophisticated. Today, as part of most military and law enforcement training scenarios, dynamic encounters, while either moving or against moving "Friend-Foe" targets in realistic settings, are required. Currently, military and law enforcement personnel use a variety of facilities including automated and non-automated static

ranges, convoy training structures, and shoot houses to fulfill their training requirements.

[0005] Combat veterans and progressive training instructors have acknowledged that the human body and mind have predictable, instinctive responses to surprise and lethal threats. While the basics of weapons handling and marksmanship are important skills for all shooters, they are not the basis for success during most lethal encounters involving the defensive use of a firearm. Trainees are much more likely to be caught off-guard by an aggressive attacker in close quarters and low light conditions than when "confronted" by a simulated lethal threat in broad daylight standing 25 yards in front of an earthen berm.

[0006] An environment that accurately recreates situational realism is requisite to firearms/tactical training programs, especially with the shift in doctrine to urban training to support the global war on terror and to allow our war fighters to train as they fight. As such, static (non-automated) outdoor ranges with permanent target positions are least desirable to meet the changing mission requirements for these training exercises. With regard to tactical training, the traditional shoot house is also not fully adequate or desirable because of life cycle costs. Further, the traditional shoot house requires significant design time and construction efforts to erect. Furthermore, the traditional shoot house lacks flexibility in modifying training scenarios once erected. Additionally, the traditional shoot house lacks realism for today's training mission requirements. Also, the traditional shoot house includes a large surface danger Zone (SDZ) footprint. In addition, the traditional shoot house typically raises encroachment, nuisance, and/or noise issues. Furthermore, traditional shoot houses typically have an open top due to air quality issues among other things. Therefore, there is a need for an improved shoot house arrangement

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is generally directed to a reconfigurable armored unit for use in live fire training exercises. In one aspect, a reconfigurable training facility is provided. The reconfigurable training facility includes a first modular unit

having at least one subsystem and a second modular unit having at least one subsystem. Each modular unit is constructed from a standard structural footprint and each modular unit includes at least one bullet containment wall. The reconfigurable training facility further includes a control member, wherein the subsystem in each modular unit is controlled by the control member.

[0008] In another aspect, a modular unit for use in a reconfigurable training facility is provided. The modular unit includes a portable structural member, wherein the portable structural member is configured to be interconnectable with another portable structural member. The modular unit further includes at least one bullet containment wall inside the portable structural member and at least one subsystem for providing a controlled environment inside the portable structural member.

[0009] In yet another aspect, a method of forming a reconfigurable training facility is provided. The method includes positioning a first modular unit at a predetermined location, wherein the first modular unit has at least one subsystem and at least one bullet containment wall. The method further includes positioning a second modular unit relative to the first modular unit, wherein the second modular unit has at least one subsystem and at least one bullet containment wall. Additionally, the method includes connecting the subsystems together and controlling each subsystem.

[0010] In a further aspect, a method of building a scenario in a graphical space is provided. The method includes providing modules to construct the scenario and transporting the modules to a location. The method further includes configuring the modules in a predetermined configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are

therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

[0012] Figure 1 is a view illustrating one embodiment of a reconfigurable armored tactical personnel and collective training facility (RATPAC) for live training exercises.

[0013] Figure 2 is a view illustrating the first floor of the RATPAC in Figure 1.

[0014] Figure 3 is a view illustrating the second floor of the RATPAC in Figure 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] The present invention is generally directed to a modular unit for use in live fire training exercises in order to train fighters as they fight. Various terms as used herein are defined below. To the extent a term used in a claim is not defined below, it should be given the broadest definition persons in the pertinent art have given that term, as reflected in printed publications and issued patents. In the description that follows, like parts are marked throughout the specification and drawings with the same reference numerals. The drawings may be, but are not necessarily, to scale and the proportions of certain parts have been exaggerated to better illustrate details and features described below. One of normal skill in the art of shoot houses will appreciate that the various embodiments of the invention can and may be used in all types of shoot houses.

[0016] Figure 1 is a view illustrating one embodiment of a reconfigurable armored tactical personnel and collective training facility (RATPAC) 100 for live training exercises. As shown in Figure 1 , the RATPAC 100 includes three modular units 150 configured in a cluster. It is to be understood, however, that the RATPAC 100 may include any number of modular units without departing from principles of the present invention. For ease of explanation, the invention will be described generally as it relates to a single building structure. It is to be understood, however, that the invention may be employed in any number of building structures without departing from principles of the present invention.

[0017] The modular units 150 in the RATPAC 100 are configured to construct the tactical training facility. Each modular unit 150 is portable, thereby allowing the RATPAC 100 to be reconfigured with minimal effort. For illustrative purposes, the roof on each modular unit 150 has been removed. As shown, the interior of each modular unit 150 may be configured with various features, such as widows, doors, stairwells, walls, and hallways but the overall structure of each modular unit 150 is constructed to a predetermined standard design or structural foot pattern. For instance, each modular unit 150 includes a standard width and a standard length. Additionally, each modular unit 150 includes a support structure 160 at each corner. The standard design allows each modular unit 150 to be arranged in a side by side configuration or in a stacked configuration without substantially modifying the modular unit 150. Additionally, the standard design allows the modular unit 150 to be prefabricated prior to assembly of the RATPAC 100, thereby reducing the design and construction efforts. Another benefit of a standard design is that the modular unit 150 may be disassembled and reconfigured with minimal effort, thereby adding flexibility in modifying training scenarios once erected. In one embodiment, the modular unit is containerized. For instance, the modular unit is built on ISO 9000 container concepts, with foldable frames for flat-pack shipping. In addition, other features, such as an exterior stairway 165 may be added to the RATPAC 100 to create the realistic tactical training facility.

[0018] Generally, each modular unit 150 includes interior and exterior panels that consist of standard dimension panels mounted on a grid system, and includes solid panels (single and double sided), window panels, door panels, with or without breach capabilities. The interior of each modular unit 150 includes bullet containment walls configured to allow live-fire within the modular unit 150. More specifically, the walls in each modular unit 150 include armored panels and/or armored steel plates to maintain the integrity of the walls when rounds of bullets are shot in the modular unit 150. The exterior facades of each modular unit 150 can also be mounted on the grid system to provide additional realism when the RATPAC 100 training facility is used as part of a Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) or Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF) to simulate the desired

objective. Additionally, the exterior of each modular unit 150 may include brick and mortar to create a realistic tactical training facility. In another embodiment, the modular unit 150 may be configured for simulated munitions, such as paintballs. In this embodiment, the lightweight walls may be used in place of the bullet containment walls.

[0019] Each modular unit 150 typically includes several subsystems for providing a controlled environment within the modular unit 150. For example, each modular unit 150 may have a subsystem 195, such as closed circuit television (CCT), computer controlled targetry arrangement, sound effects, power, and an airflow ceiling ventilation system. Typically, each subsystem is integral to the modular unit 150 and is connected via an umbilical cord 180 to a central control module in a control room 175. In another embodiment, each modular unit 150 is connected to the control room 175 through a wireless network. The subsystems may also be connected to an after action review (AAR)/classroom space, as well as mechanical/electrical units that are configured to meet each application's requirements. The subsystem arrangement allows the modular unit 150 to be mobile and affords the end-user a plug and play product.

[0020] The RATPAC 100 may include the capability of integral breaching walls 185 and doors 190 to gain entry to the modular unit 150 and/or individual rooms to add realism to the training session. The interior and exterior "breach panels" simulating walls 185 and doors 190 are substituted for the standard armor panels, at predetermined entry points, allowing for demolition effects simulator (DES) or mechanical breaching techniques without damaging the modular unit 150. In addition, each modular unit 150 offers the added realism of traditional height ceilings and an airflow ceiling ventilation system, thereby reducing the Surface danger Zone (SDZ) footprint and encroachment or noise issues. Further, each modular unit 150 includes room sizes that can be configured to match the required tactical scenario, as well as flexibility afforded by portable target systems that are easily relocated/reprogrammed to change training scenarios.

[0021] Figure 2 is a view illustrating the first floor of the RATPAC 100 in Figure 1 and Figure 3 is a view illustrating the second floor of the RATPAC 100 in Figure 1. As shown in Figure 2, the RATPAC 100 includes two modular units 150 side by side and as shown in Figure 3 a single modular unit 150 on the second floor. As clearly shown in Figures 2 and 3, each modular unit 150 has the same exterior dimensions. In other words, each modular unit 150 has the same structural footprint, thereby allowing the modular unit 150 to be arranged in numerous configurations. As previously described, each modular unit 150 includes a number of subsystems that are interconnected with other modular units to form a single unit. The single unit is connected to the control room 175 via the cord 180, thereby allowing the single unit to be controlled at one location.

[0022] Although the RATPAC 100 in Figures 1-3 illustrates a three module unit arrangement, the RATPAC 100 is scaleable from a single module arrangement to a multiple module arrangement with practically limitless floor plan possibilities. Additionally, the RATPAC 100 may be configured as a high rise building arrangement with multiple stories, thereby allowing the integration of rappelling and tactical training in a realistic setting using a single facility. Furthermore, the RATPAC 100 may include interior/exterior stairs and balconies, rappel points, and large open rooms to create a realistic tactical training facility.

[0023] In one embodiment, multiple RATPAC 100 buildings may be combined to create a live-fire Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF) capable of providing culminating urban operations training that was previously accomplished through an Urban Assault Course, a Shoot House, and Breach Facilities separately. A CACTF constructed using modular units 150 allows multiple units to train simultaneously on the collective tasks of breaching, tactical movement, target engagement and discrimination, building entry, and room clearance in a live-fire environment, wherein each modular unit 150 includes a bullet containment frame. Additionally, the multi-story RATPAC buildings can be constructed with rooftop over watch positions to allow the incorporation of elements such as command and control and security into the aforementioned live-fire training scenarios.

[0024] To develop an appropriate configuration to meet specific mission/training scenario requirements, 3 dimensional (3-D) computer simulations are conducted. Commercially available engineering architectural software, enhanced with proprietary programming, enables construction and viewing of the facility in a virtual world from a site perspective. Walk-thoughs, fly-overs, and rotational views through 3-D animation enable the trainer to review the "completed" facility early in the design phase, to ensure targetry location, functionaility, and training realism prior to finalizing the site detail design and tendering construction.

[0025] While the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.