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Repurposed simulators provide new training opportunity

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Students from the 532nd Training Squadron work on an Air Launch Cruise Missile Simulator in their training facility here Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The squadron recently received four of the simulators from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. to replace the old “worn-out” ones and provide a more realistic training environment.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Students from the 532nd Training Squadron work on an Air Launch Cruise Missile Simulator in their training facility here Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The squadron recently received four of the simulators from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. to replace the old “worn-out” ones and provide a more realistic training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Staff Sgt. Douglas Hull, a 532nd Training Squadron air launch missile maintenance instructor, demonstrates how to work on an Air Launched Cruise Missiles to 532nd TRS students through a simulator here Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The squadron recently received four of the simulators from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. to replace the old “worn-out” ones and provide a more realistic training environment.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Staff Sgt. Douglas Hull, a 532nd Training Squadron air launch missile maintenance instructor, demonstrates how to work on an Air Launched Cruise Missiles to 532nd TRS students through a simulator here Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The squadron recently received four of the simulators from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. to replace the old “worn-out” ones and provide a more realistic training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Students from the 532nd Training Squadron work on an Air Launch Cruise Missile Simulator in their training facility here Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The squadron recently received four of the simulators from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. to replace the old “worn-out” ones and provide a more realistic training environment.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Students from the 532nd Training Squadron work on an Air Launch Cruise Missile Simulator in their training facility here Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The squadron recently received four of the simulators from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. to replace the old “worn-out” ones and provide a more realistic training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- The 532nd Training Squadron has recently improved hands-on training for their students.

In February, the squadron received four Air Launched Cruise Missiles Simulators from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. After the simulators underwent operation test evaluations, students finally had the chance to use them March 27.

"We have needed new simulators for years," said Senior Master Sgt. Gregory Gallup, 532nd Squadron superintendent. "When I was first here as an instructor back in 1996 my first question was, when will they be replaced and changed? Our old simulators are worn-out and not realistic for training.'"

Leadership was concerned with the training quality that students were receiving and acted accordingly.

"We requested the simulators in 2007 at a utilization training workshop," said Barbara Lefebvre, 532nd Squadron Training Manager. "In 2010 the request was approved."
Although there were stalls with request after it was approved, the simulators eventually arrived.

"These simulators are vital and needed," said Staff Sgt. Thomas Garcia, 532nd Squadron Instructor. "They help train the students for what they'll be doing in the field. We focus hours on end on theory but until students have hands-on training they aren't fully prepared to do their job. The instructors are really excited to have these."

The students also appreciated receiving the simulators.

"I have trouble just looking at a book," said Airman Saskia Miller, 532nd Squadron Student. "With the simulators you can see what you're actually learning. I try to use caution like I'm using a real missile."

As for the Squadron's old simulators, Air Force Global Strike Command is paying to have them shipped and will use them for other purposes.