Goodbye MILES, Welcome DISE: New GPS “Laser Tag” Training or Military

The Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) has been in service with a number of militaries the world over, beginning in the 1980s. MILES has gone through a number of different design iterations over the years, to include making the system more compact and light weight. For those unfamiliar with the system essentially it is a training simulation Laser Tag Pro, being able to be outfitted to individual soldiers, vehicles, even aircraft. When using blanks in small arms or larger caliber weapons, the system shoots out a laser when the blank is fired. If the laser impacts the MILES gear on an opposing force, the system of that force shuts down, thus registering a “Kill”. The concept for the program is a brilliant one, but it saw a number of issues that retarded its potential. From the gear causing neck problems, to being unreliable at times, and most importantly cost. Throughout my time in the infantry, I never once utilized or even saw MILES gear in use at all.

A replacement system for MILES that initially came out in 2006 is the Deployable Instrumentation System Europe (DISE). Interestingly this system is very specifically used and designed with forces within EUCOM, and not the United States. To be precise, it is the Seventh Army Joint Multinational Training Command. This probably has to do with the various budgets available to EUCOM that the U.S. Army Training Command doesn’t have or want access to. Although DISE has been in use since 2006, as of 2015 PEO issued out a solicitation to upgrade the program. Right now Saab Technology has the contract to produce the device.

The largest difference between MILES and DISE is that DISE is GPS connected, allowing commanders to view hits in real time on a computer screen, or afterward during an after-action review of a training operation. In addition, the components are much smaller and more light-weight than MILES was at the time of adoption. With MILES gear apparently crafty Lance Corporals and Specialists were known to have reset their device if they were “killed”, thus respawning. DISE has solved that feature through the technology utilized.

One of the other upgrades is that the system has an audio box on it that emits sounds of bullets passing by a soldier if the opposing force is shooting within the proximity of it. Go to 2:15 in this video to hear the sounds-

From the solicitation-

 DISE is a Soldier, vehicle and building GPS and radio tracking system that combined with an exercise control (EXCON) cell can be located with the supported unit within the training area. The EXCON records all actions, events and engagements. The recording of data creates an immediate multimedia After Action Review (AAR) playback product to allow Commander’s, Observer Controller /Trainer’s and Soldiers to see exactly what occurred during a training. The DISE systems located at Grafenwoehr has been supplemented with similar Deployable Instrumentation Systems (DITS) from Ft Campbell, Kentucky.

The Seventh Army Joint Multinational Training Command requires upgrading DISE and DITS Personnel Detection Devices (PDDs) and the Small Arms Transmitters (SATs). The DISE and DITS PDD upgrade requires a new processor board that enables WLN frequency setting for 868MHz and 915MHz and dual laser coded templates for a MILES and OSAG2 capability. Upgrade of the DITS and DISE SATs require a new optic module to enable the SATs to operate with MILES and OSAG2 specifications. Upgrading these systems to OSAG2 will make the system interoperable with other NATO Partners.A total of 1549 Personnel Detection Device (PDD), 1743 Small Arms Transmitters (SAT), 433 Small Arms Alignment Device (SAAD) and 39 Controller Guns require upgrade. This upgrade will support the USAREUR Commanders’ Connected Training initiative and the U.S. European Reassurance Initiative (ERI). This converted equipment will allow for greater integration, creating the capacity for a Brigade sized U.S. and Coalition Forces to train simultaneously at multiple deployed locations.



Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia. You can also follow us on Twitter- @Silah_Report

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Are you also leaving to write about cars?

    • Honestly, as long as TFB exists, and as long as I don’t break any rules or do anything stupid, I don’t see a reason for ever leaving.

    • SP mclaughlin

      That’s Alex (C), not Miles.

      • DW

        Read the title to get the joke

        • KestrelBike

          Lol I woulda missed it

      • ORCON

        I do miss Alex C.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        It was in jest

  • FOC Ewe

    Great, so as a retiree this is the updated garbage myself and the rest non-MIL/LEO consumer population of the US has no access to or use for. Thanks.

    Is this TFB or SSD/MILSPEC Monkey?

  • Audie Bakerson

    How is it pronounced?

  • I’ve heard tales of ponchos and other gear “accidentally” getting draped over a vehicle’s MILES hit sensors, as well as more overt attempts to circumvent the system like smearing Vaseline over them.

    • MeaCulpa

      A non cheating soldier is a non existing soldier. A guy taking “cover” from a whole squad firing at him in some dense brush and claiming he wasn’t hit because the system isn’t saying he’s hit!is not all that uncommon.

    • noob

      That’s why these systems usually come with a wireless “god gun” that allows an instructor to “kill” the student that should have gotten hit, but hasn’t for whatever reason.

      It is also useful if the system that relays hits to the inside of buildings doesn’t have good coverage, or if you want to simulate a larger attacking force than the number of roleplayers you actually got assigned.

      • nbabab

        That god gun would go well with a drone, that way it can quickly fly to the people who are causing a problem.

  • Porty1119

    Miles didn’t get to use MILES? Ironic and unfortunate.

    • I know right…. 🙁 I was actually looking forward to it before I enlisted!

    • The_Champ

      There is an ‘Inception’ joke somewhere in here, it’s just too late at night and I can’t seem to come up with it.

  • Vitor Roma

    This reminds me of how most military gadgets and electronics take so long to update. They can be quite hyped at the beginning but I suspect that a ps4 has more computing power that the electronics of the F-22.

  • ORCON

    “With MILES gear apparently crafty Lance Corporals and Specialists were known to have reset their device if they were “killed”, thus respawning.”

    Yup, that or just de-energizing your sensors so a kill is never even registered. Shenanigans.

  • PAUL FOREL

    I am wondering how to ‘reset’ MILES gear.

    While in the CA ARNG, as Medical PSG, I used to remove the battery from my MILES gear and would direct the medics in our medical platoon to do the same.

    We had an insufficient number of medics and no grunts who could pull perimeter security around our BAS so I had all the medics simply remove the batteries from their MILES gear.

    LTC Itow, our Bn Cmmdr, was not pleased…

    (This was prior to Desert Shield when the ARNG was a constant comedy of errors.)

  • So does this mean cheap milsurp MILES lasertag for people who aren’t government employees?

    • Or better yet, cheap surplus sources of high wattage lasers?

      • noob

        In the 40 watt range?

    • noob

      There’s Laser Skirmish which is similiar to MILES in that it has a 150m outdoor effective range. you can buy kits online. it is popular in Australia due to harsh licensing laws regarding paintball and some australian states outright banning airsoft.

  • Liv Sining

    As an infantryman in the early 1990s, I used MILES gear often. The trick I figured out one day while messing around was that there was some sort of connector port on the MILES transmitter on for the M60. If you opened that and ran a piece of wire between the correct two input pin holes, the laser would fire continuously without the need for loud noises to activate it. Long range silent death ray!

    Of course, the battery ran out in just a few minutes and the MILES transmitter got very hot…