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Simulator to provide students with hands-on ICBM training

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Michael Lutton, the 381st Training Group commander, operates a new training tool to the schoolhouse’s curriculum called the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Virtual Maintenance Trainer, which mimics the day-to-day mission of an operational missile wing. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Michael Lutton, the 381st Training Group commander, operates a new training tool to the schoolhouse’s curriculum called the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Virtual Maintenance Trainer, which mimics the day-to-day mission of an operational missile wing. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 381st Training Group is slated to introduce a new training tool to the schoolhouse's curriculum for missile maintenance and intercontinental ballistic missile officers.

The training group is preparing to implement the use of their newly constructed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Virtual Maintenance Trainer, a simulator that mimics the day-to-day mission of an operational missile wing.

"The 532nd Training Squadron began development of this trainer after having identified a need for a more seasoned maintenance officer," said Capt. William Prescott, the 532nd TRS training flight commander. "The missile wings needed a maintenance officer that was more familiar with the day-to-day priorities of the maintenance mission and the management functions and responsibilities of its leadership."

Also important is the ability for officers to understand the difficulties the enlisted technicians experience while working in order to alleviate potential problems.

"This trainer merges these concepts and allows the instructors to simulate actual missile wing events in a training environment that will reinforce all the maintenance practices that the students have learned," Captain Prescott said.

The 40- hour simulator training is used as the student's capstone course. The students integrate their knowledge gained in the previous six weeks of initial training and apply it during the simulator training.

"I personally think that this simulator is amazing," said Captain Prescott. "When I graduated and went to the wing-level, it was months before I could effectively grasp the maintenance group priorities. This simulator can mimic almost any operational status at a wing, which gives this course more validity and a greater since of fidelity."