USAF base purchases new driver training simulator

7 January 2020 (Last Updated January 7th, 2020 10:47)

The US Air Force (USAF) has purchased a simulator for Hill Air Force Base (AFB) civilians and military airmen in need of ground transportation training.

USAF base purchases new driver training simulator
Drivers can use the simulator to practice in more than 30 different vehicles in nearly every driving condition imaginable. Credit: US Air Force/ Cynthia Griggs.

The US Air Force (USAF) has purchased a simulator for Hill Air Force Base (AFB) civilians and military airmen in need of ground transportation training.

The new driver training simulator features three 55in monitors. It offers training on nearly 30 different vehicles, including fire trucks, police cars, buses, tractor-trailers, Humvees and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAP).

With a capability to offer more than 150 preset scenarios, the $140,000 simulator can generate most driving conditions, as trainers control weather, road conditions, visibility and malfunction variables.

Hill AFB ground transportation section chief Stephen Baskiewicz said: “It’s a great training tool. It provides the most realistic experience I’ve seen in helping drivers learn how to operate specialised vehicles before operating the real deal.”

The simulator’s surround sound gives trainees an interactive experience that is similar to real-world driving.

Hill AFB vehicle operator training leader Chase Terry said: “The biggest thing this will do is get people used to a vehicle before getting in that vehicle.

“It’s crazy just how much they learn on this simulator and how proficient they become before even getting behind the wheel of a real vehicle.”

As estimated by Baskiewicz, the simulator will provide the base with savings of around $50,000 to $100,000 a year in preventive maintenance costs, fuel savings and accident-repair costs.

Hill AFB purchased the simulator with Squadron Innovation Funds, which directly support new ideas of airmen.

In October 2018, USAF maintainers on Hill AFB’s flight line started using a new handheld tablet to work on the F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighter aircraft.