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The US Air Force (USAF) has implemented virtual reality (VR) training to enable airfield management students to have ‘hands-on’ learning experience.

The 334th Training Squadron (TRS) used the first VR training at Keesler Air Force Base on 28 June. It incorporated a VR classroom to teach airfield maintenance to the students.

USAF Airfield Management career field manager chief master sergeant Paul Portugal stated that the new technology will support the mission of Air Education and Training Command (AETC).

Portugal said: “Innovation and the continuum of learning has always been a priority of AETC to make our airmen more effective and efficient.”

334th TRS instructor master sergeant Joshua Stillwagon said the VR training technology enables efficient training of airmen compared to the previous lecture-based class.

Stillwagon said: “This system gives instructors the capability to not just tell airmen, but instantly show them a concept.”

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The training scenario using VR includes visual simulation of the setting of an airfield to enable students to practise their job as if they were operational.

Portugal added: “The VR technology gives our students a visual representation of airfield hazards that can be unsafe. They don’t need to imagine it, they can visualise cranes, trees or other things that can affect flight safety.”

“The technological jump that we are making in how we create more efficient and effective airmen is the biggest part of this.”

In addition to securing the future of airfield management training, the impact of the technology will be seen in the overall training of airmen, he noted.