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TRAINING AND SIMULATION UPDATE

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29 Jul 20. Yokota AB in Japan receives C-130J Super Hercules WST simulator. Yokota Air Base (AB) in Japan has received a C-130J Super Hercules Weapons System Training (WST) simulator following two years of construction.

Yokota AB, which is a US Air Force (USAF) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) base in Fussa city, conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the simulator on 27 July.

As Yokota serves as the sole tactical airlift squadron in the Pacific Air Forces, it commenced transition from the C-130H Hercules to C-130J Super Hercules in 2017.

C-130J WST simulator was installed as a part of this transition from the H model to the J model.

The cockpit flight simulator is certified to train aircrews, who would receive training just as they would in an aircraft.

USAF 36th Airlift Squadron operation assistant director Major Christopher Wolff said: “The simulator is primarily used to accomplish our required annual refresher training focused on aircraft emergency procedures and crew and cockpit resource management (CRM), which would be too dangerous or unpractical to do in the actual aircraft.”

The newly operational simulator will provide aircrews with real-world scenarios in a safe surrounding. It has the ability to recreate any flying environment.

Claimed to be a budget-friendly simulator, approximately 150-200 pilots, loadmasters, and maintainers can be trained annually on tactical airlift missions.

Wolff added: “The simulator will save the 374th Operations Group approximately $450,000 annually in personnel and travel costs by conducting the required training on site.

“Essentially, the C-130J WST simulator and the C-130J Super Hercules are one and the same, but with better cost savings and a safer way of doing things.

“Some other benefits of the simulator are that it can replicate nearly any operating environment of the C-130J with unlimited variations of locations, weather, or time of day to facilitate whatever training is needed.”

In December 2019, Yokota Air Base broke ground on an Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) airfield apron. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

28 Jul 20. Eisenhower Strike Group Exercises with Hellenic Navy. The Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) participated in surface exercises with the Hellenic Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, July 24-28, 2020. The exercises included formation steaming, tactical maneuvers, communications drills, and allowed participating forces to test and refine command and control between the two navies.

“Exercises like this enhance our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis,” said Capt. Zoah Scheneman, commander, Destroyer Squadron 26. “This opportunity flexed our ability to be postured with our NATO partners to be ready with credible force to assure, deter, and defend our interests in an increasingly complex security environment.”

Hellenic Navy frigate HN Aegean (FFGH 460) was assigned as an air defense unit, locating and identifying air contacts around the CSG and serving as a horizon reference unit for the CSG’s aircraft as they landed. As helicopter aircraft control unit, the ship checked aircraft in and out of the carrier’s air space.

“The Hellenic Navy has outstanding naval capabilities,” said Capt. Edward Crossman, commanding officer of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56). “We look forward to any chance to work with them as an opportunity to learn and fine-tune our tactics and procedures. It’s an absolute win for San Jacinto’s ‘Gunslingers’ to operate with our NATO partners. This training makes us stronger as an allied force, dedicated to maintaining regional stability, and sustaining freedom of the seas.”

Participating units were Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), San Jacinto, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and Aegean.

“Our presence in Europe and the relationships built over the past 70 years provides the U.S. strategic access critical to meet our NATO commitments and respond to threats against our allies and partners,” said Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, commander, Carrier Strike Group Ten. “Our NATO allies and partners stand together to ensure Europe remains free and at peace.”

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is conducting operations in U.S. 6th fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operation, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (Source: ASD Network/USN)

27 Jul 20. Lockheed Martin Australia completes PDR for JP 9711-1. Lockheed Martin Australia has successfully completed the mission-critical preliminary design review (PDR) for the Department of Defence’s JP 9711-1 Core Simulation Capability despite the global challenges of COVID-19.

The JP 9711 system will provide the ADF with a Core Simulation Capability that delivers simulation-enabled collective training in support of current and future defence operations, ensuring the ongoing operational readiness of ADF personnel.

This is a significant milestone as it lays the foundational path forward for establishing the baseline software architecture for the Australian Defence Force’s largest networked training system that links virtual and constructive simulation to live training events.

The Lockheed Martin program team in Canberra and Orlando generated an innovative digital solution to assure the COVID impacts and restrictions did not prohibit the team from holding the critical PDR milestone, which allowed the program to maintain schedule.

Joe North, chief executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, said Lockheed Martin Australia was immensely proud of this achievement: “This milestone demonstrates Lockheed Martin Australia’s steadfast commitment and focus in delivering an innovative and timely solution to meet the critical operational needs of the Department of Defence’s Chief Information Officer Group.”

In collaboration with Defence, the Lockheed Martin program team worked hand-in-hand to review a range of complex and highly detailed documents, deliver 26 priority one documents, two Contract Data Requirements List items, 10 technical data presentations, and 26 tech interchange meetings.

“This outcome is a positive example of Australia’s sustainable sovereign industrial capability in full swing, with our global teams working in concert to successfully plan and execute a software PDR on schedule,” North said.

“The Canberra and Orlando teams connected daily in a virtual environment assuring the transfer of knowledge during program execution, which saw our highly skilled Australian team deliver the PDR on time. It was a great outcome and we look forward to focusing on the next milestone in support of CIOG’s priorities.”

Malcolm Wright, program manager JP 9711-1 at Lockheed Martin Australia, also acknowledged the strong co-operation with Defence on the ability to meet the PDR milestone.

“The remarkable collaboration between our Lockheed Martin program team on both sides of the Pacific in partnership with Defence was key to achieving this positive outcome,” Wright explained.

He added, “This successful PDR was a culmination of sheer hard work, sustained commitment and working closely with Defence to identify the contract data requirements and effectively deliver them in a practical and timely manner all within a COVID-19 impacted world. We exited PDR due to a lot of hard work and dedication by the whole team.”

Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company employs more than 1,000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.

Joint Project 9711 Phase 1 will provide the services required to deliver a Core Simulation Capability that will provide critical training support to the future force through a significant upgrade and expansion of its simulation capability.

The capability will enable Defence to link live and simulated training together for large scale joint and combined collective training and to deliver on-demand distributed mission training to the single services of the ADF and Joint Operations Command. (Source: Defence Connect)

27 Jul 20. USAF 625th STOS installs new Virtual Airborne Processing Trainer. The US Air Force’s (USAF) 625th Strategic Operations Squadron (STOS) has installed the new Virtual Airborne Processing Trainer.

Installation and operation of the virtual trainer was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Offutt Air Force Base (AFB), Nebraska.

Following the damage of the unit’s traditional trainer in March last year, the new trainer has been installed to support air launch control system (ALCS) officers.

The ALCS is operated on board Navy E-6 Mercury. Airmen also conducted hands-on training on board the vessel along with using a testing simulator at Vandenberg AFB in California.

USAF 625th STOS intelligence officer and ALCS installation overseer Captain Evans Wright said: “The new virtual trainer will equip ALCS operators and trainees with the highest level of training fidelity to carry out survivable nuclear command and control.

“The new ALCS trainer means that our Airmen can once again accomplish training and become certified on the weapons system and remain proficient locally.”

Installation of the ALCS virtual trainer was delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

It has concluded acceptance testing. Currently, the 625th STOS is set to resume initial qualification training.

Annually training eight operators, the unit will begin first classes this week.

Composed of bulky equipment, the legacy trainer was a mock-up of the battle staff compartment.

The new ALCS trainer is 100% virtual and supports enhanced mobility and testing capacity.

Wright added: “The virtual trainer is much more agile than the legacy system, allowing us to easily move it anywhere with the correct dimensions and proper power source.

“The ALCS trainer also has the added benefit of allowing us to stress the weapon system to a greater extent while quickly turning it around to conduct more tests.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)

27 Jul 20. RAF Regiment Conduct Specialist Air Force Protection Training. Force Protection (FP) elements commanded by No 7 Force Protection Wing from RAF Coningsby recently deployed on Exercise BLAZING CHARIOT on Salisbury Plain Training Area, Wiltshire from 6th to 15th July 2020.

No 7 RAF Force Protection Wing are a specialist air force protection unit, responsible for the protection of RAF air assets in the UK and when deployed worldwide. The Wing conducted a range of specialist training activities during Exercise BLAZING CHARIOT, to refresh their specialist skill-set.

This included Force Protection Air Estimate training and Wing command and control of operational activity in and around an airfield. 1 Squadron RAF Regiment practised their use of Foxhound Armoured Vehicles, as well as flight level tactics and procedures, to ensure they’re ready to support operations in the UK and short-notice RAF deployments overseas. This culminated with a Squadron level dawn-raid, under the watch of RAF Force Protection Centre mentors and observers.

Whilst deployed, the Wing undertook experimentation with new equipment, including Small-Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) from the RAF Force Protection Centre, trialling different techniques to support hostile force detection, situational awareness, and training feedback.

Attached RAF Intelligence specialist personnel provided information on hostile force action, which improved and helped situational awareness, allowing commanders’ decision making to be practised with a rapidly changing situation.

The Exercise forms part of Force Protection Force operational training requirements and 7 Wing operational readiness training. The aim is to ensure the units are ready to support RAF operations in the UK and overseas to prevent hostile interference with air operations and damage to RAF aircraft when vulnerable on the ground.

How the exercise achieved the objectives.The Exercise achieved all training set and it was a hugely beneficial Collective Training experience. The Force Protection Air Estimate refresher training package was particularly valuable for the Wing HQ, enhancing staff understanding and development of the team; importantly, it provides a framework for how the Wing will meet future operational tasks.

It also provided an opportunity to understand Armoured Vehicle use and effectively incorporate minute to minute command and control as part of our specialist Air Force Protection role. This further enhanced the understanding of operations in the complex air-ground environment in and around an RAF airfield, augmenting the experience from the unit’s participation in the NATO Capability Evaluation earlier this year. (Source: Warfare Today/RAF)

24 Jul 20. USMC HMLA-367 participates in exercise in Hawaii. The Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) of the United States Marine Corps has participated in an integrated training event in Hawaii.

The Lightning Forge exercise, which also involved the US Army’s 25th Infantry Division, was conducted to bolster cohesion between the two military branches and enhance their interoperability.

Under the training, HMLA-367 used their aircraft to play the antagonist against army ground units.

HMLA-367 UH-1Y pilot 1st Lieutenant Cristov Dorsev said: “Today was a good exercise for communicating with other armed forces, so we identified some points of friction, different languages that are used across the different armed forces.

“It taught everyone a good lesson about the importance of pre-flight planning and getting on the same page with certain tactics.”

Dorsev further added that the crew on board ensured good communication despite rough weather. Every member involved in the training had specific tasks to ensure mission accomplishment.

HMLA-367 UH-1Y crew chief Corporal Tyler Archambeault said: “My job directly was to help keep our section correlated with the movement of aircraft and simulated attacks.

“Everything went pretty well, especially having a Gunnery Sergeant on the other side of the aircraft with the junior pilot and myself. We have a solid couple of senior guys.”

Last month, four CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft of the US Marines completed an extensive maintenance process called RESET.

The CH-53E helicopters are used for lifting heavy cargo and marine aircraft, except the KC-130. (Source: naval-technology.com)

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Meggitt introduces the next generation of immersive training — the FATS® 180MIL.

Delivering 180° high definition projection and 5.1 surround sound, the FATS 180MIL increases training realism, heightening awareness and proper use of force responses. Three borderless screens fit into almost any space with at least a 10’ tall ceiling, providing a 150” X 84” (16:9 aspect ratio) borderless projection surface. It also includes:

  • Military Validation – The same high-fidelity ballistic engine validated by the US Army, USMC and other military customers.

o Provides accurate ballistic characteristics in flight.

o Supports and enforces the proper fundamentals of marksmanship.

  • Immersive Training – Supports both 3D Marksmanship and Judgmental training.
  • Courseware – Delivered with full array of training courseware.
  • Hit Detection System – Three digital cameras interface directly with Off-CPU real-time (OCR) processor used by FATS® 100 system for easy upgrade path.
  • Projectors – Ultra short throw projectors provide freedom of movement, displaying stunning visuals in 180°environment.
  • Low-Light Subsystem (optional) – Practice in simulated low-light conditions with hand-held and weapon-mounted flashlights.
  • Rack – Uses same transportable rack as the FATS 100 system.
  • Realistic Sounds – Self-powered audio system plays scenarios in 5.1 surround sound. Using directional sound effects board, the instructor can incorporate unsettling sounds from any direction, including barking dog, crying baby, gunshots and more to elevate situational awareness.
  • Supports up to 60 simulated weapons, including FATS weapons and ammunition types. Up to 4 simulated weapons can be assigned to a single user.

With the FATS 180MIL, users feel they’re in the action, facing decision-making pressures while maintaining situational awareness.

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