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New Simulator to Enhance U.S. Air Force Flight Training

The United States Air Force has developed a new training platform, the Weapons System Trainer Reconfigurable C-130J flight simulator (WST 12R). The new simulator includes block enhancements to upgrade software and hardware capability expansions built to improve aircraft flying skills capabilities.

The WST 12R block is enhanced with modular, quickly changeable options. The simulation training will aid C-130J flying wings, such as the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard at Moffett Field, which uses HC-130J Combat King II aircraft.

“WST 12R will enhance and modernise how our aircrew accomplishes its training because it’s the first configurable simulator between the ‘HC’ and ‘Slick J’ C-130J aircraft variations that can also be rapidly configured to facilitate training for C-130J block enhancements for 6.0 and 8.1,” said Col. Lisa A. Nemeth, Commander 146th Airlift Wing during the ground-breaking ceremony to commemorate the start of construction for a state-of-the-art C-130J simulator site.

These training profiles will closely resemble the flight, weight, and atmospheric circumstances encountered by MAFFS aircrews during wildfire suppression missions. The new simulator will teach aircrews how to manage situations more effectively and successfully, enhancing safety and mission accomplishment.

The new Weapons System Trainer Reconfigurable C-130J flight simulator (WST 12R) will have several characteristics that set it apart from previous simulators in the United States. The strategic placement of WST 12R at the Channel Islands Air National Guard Station is one of the most significant benefits for California and the Air National Guard.

According to Col. Christopher Dougherty, Vice Commander of the 146th Airlift Wing, the simulator reduces costs and enhances training for the wing’s aerial firefighting mission.

“Based on previous data, we believe that WST 12R will save an estimated $6.3 million in yearly travel, fuel, and training costs,” Dougherty claimed. “We’re pleased to receive the first-of-its-kind MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) training profile. Finally, via a secure network, this simulator will electronically connect to other simulators and training locations to execute formation airdrop training.”

The MAFFS mission is a collaboration between the US Forest Service and the Department of Defence that began in 1971 to integrate military air tankers into a national firefighting response. WST 12R will be the first MAFFS virtual training simulator to be launched, offering functional training scenarios for aircrew ready to fly aerial wildfire control missions.

The United States Army has adopted simulation systems to train its soldiers. The MRTS 3D (Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System) was designed by the United States Navy as a 3D training simulation that gives an interactive training experience via a multi-touch screen.

By boosting individual performance and mission readiness, the deployment of MRTS 3D onboard Lincoln serves to meet future fleet requirements. The simulations immerse sailors in a three-dimensional world tailored to their work demands.

The system can host and deliver fewer interactive types of courseware aimed at improving job performance and professional development. The technology was used aboard a Navy ship, the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), for the first time. MRTS 3D was created by the Naval Air Warfare Systems Command Training Systems Division (NAWC TSD), which provides training simulations for the Navy.

MRTS 3D provides various software simulations via realistic, virtual training on multiple platforms. MRTS 3D trainers will be employed on Navy ships in sailor rate training courses and pre-deployment team training. At various stages of the simulated operation, training scenarios can generate problems for sailors to rectify. When a problem is detected, sailors use the LCD monitors to follow shipboard protocols to restore the system to total operational capacity.

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