The Oklahoma Air National Guard’s (ANG) 146th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) members have officially started training on its latest simulator, the advanced joint terminal attack controller training system (AAJTS), at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base.
Designed to train Air National Guard Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTACs) and Combat Controller squadron, the AAJTS simulates virtually every environment, including the aircrafts and weapons used by the JTACs.
The system contains a large dome projection screen, a control station and an aircraft simulator station. The dome features 14 high-end projectors that positions airmen in a capsule just like in a real situation.
The main aim of ASOS is to provide ground commanders with information, proper coordination and control of nearby air support missions.
With AAJTS, ASOS members can learn this process despite making repeated mistakes.
Virginia-based QuantaDyn, developer of the AAJTS, logistical support Chris Johnson said: "If a JTAC operates unsafely and pulls his aircraft in too close, they’ll get shot down. It’s better to do that in a simulator than in real life."
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146th ASOS commander lieutenant colonel James Waltermire said airplanes only have a certain amount of fuel, so you cannot just stop training if it is not going well.
"With this system, we can reset and get it right before going to a live range," Waltermire said.
The $2m AAJTS system also has the capability to project infrared images for virtual night-time operations and can network with other simulators across the world, allowing JTACs to communicate and train with real-life pilots on their own aircraft simulators remotely.
Waltermire said this simulator allows them to go back to the basics and do it over and over until they do not make any mistakes.
"It gives us the ability to train against moving targets that are out there in a simulated environment and gets my guys used to seeing things move that you can’t see on a range when you’re dropping live ordinance," Waltermire said.
In addition to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, two AAJTS simulators will be deployed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
AAJTS will also be installed for active duty Air Force personnel and Marines across the US in 2014.
Image: Members of the 146th ASOS train on Air National Guard’s advanced joint terminal attack controller training system (AAJTS) in Oklahoma. Photo: courtesy of USAF Maj. Geoff Legler.