PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Picatinny engineers are creating M777A2 howitzer maintenance training videos to enhance the ability of Soldiers and Marines to conduct maintenance tasks in all operational environments.


“The goal is to make the training more accessible,” said Josh Zawislak, ARDEC Project Officer for Project Manager Towed Artillery System Trainers. ARDEC stands for the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, a research and development organization on Picatinny.


PM TAS manages towed artillery for the Army and Marine Corps.


“We’re looking for additional methods of relaying maintenance information,” Zawislak explained. <span style="font-size: 13.3333px;">"Trainers require classroom-based computers and you have to have 3-D graphic cards. They’re looking for some more portable.These videos can be burned onto a CD and it can be viewed like a movie, or they can go to the website and watch it like YouTube.” </span>


The engineers are creating three beta, or prototype, videos, said Maj. Daniel Cowling, Product Director of Training Aids, Devices, Simulation and Simulators for PM TAS. The videos will demonstrate how to move the howitzer into the maintenance position, which is the prerequisite for all maintenance, and also how to install and remove the traverse mechanism. The traverse mechanism turns the gun horizontally.


Staff Sgt. Taiwan Shelton from the Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fires Center of Excellence, served as the subject matter expert performing the tasks while Picatinny engineers filmed his movements with GoPro cameras. 


After capturing the movements, ARDEC engineers will edit, conduct audio clean up and arrange the clips in a sequential manner. 


If the videos are well received by Soldiers, Marines and the training schools, short videos could be produced for the other 75 M777A2 maintenance tasks. These tasks are in the system’s technical manual.


PM TAS and the TRADOC Capability Manager have requested the beta videos, which potentially will be downloadable from the mtripleseven.com website. 


These three beta videos should be completed by the end of February, and then submitted to the Fires community for user review.