Thursday, January 31, 2008

TOP STORY >> NCO introduces cutting-edge training

A staff sergeant with the 714th Training Squadron here was part of a team that is helping to place Little Rock Air Force Base on the leading edge of training technology.

Staff Sgt. Todd Kohler, C-130 loadmaster subject matter expert, worked with a team from Air Education and Training Command and Lockheed Martin, in conjunction with Patherfinder Systems, Inc., to develop a new loadmaster augmented reality training device.

“This device takes advantage of the tactile environment of an aircraft fuselage and incorporates and augmented view to simulate aircraft malfunctions,” Sergeant Kohler explained.

These malfunctions are then incorporated into scenarios that operate in near-real time. This allows students to accomplish normal training while experiences errors at any time.

“This type of training greatly reduces the price tag associated with flying actual aircraft and increases aircrew safety,” the loadmaster said. “Students can train using in-flight scenarios without ever leaving the ground.”

He went on to explain that the simulator can provide rapid, repeatable training sequences designed to enhance the students’ performance during emergency and airdrop procedures.

“Most of the emergency training they receive can not be recreated in flight,” Sergeant Kohler said. “By generating multiple scenarios and malfunctions, the students learn to handle these situations safely.”

The end result means a more realistic training environment for future C-130 loadmasters.

The device is expected to be in use by early next year. And, as Sergeant Kohler explains, at a time when flying programs are being reduced, the simulator will be much-needed.

“With the reduced reduced flight program we are pushing as much training as possible to lower level devices,” he said. “The great thing about a device like this is it develops basic proficiencies in procedures in a shorter time due to student accomplishing in-flight procedures prior to actually flight training.”

Officials expect this training device to have far reaching effects.

It is expected that this device will be able to be incorporated into any aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory with little additional development.

(Article compiled by 314th Airlift Wing public affairs)


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