By Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell , 673d Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 11, 2019
U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Ruckman, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron superintendent, tests the 773d Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation section’s new driving simulator at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, April 5, 2019. The interactive simulator allows drivers to interact with computer-generated vehicles in a realistic environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)
Personnel with the 773d Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation section recently installed a driving simulator to further innovation at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
The interactive driving simulator provides a dynamic training environment for a wide variety of commercial truck applications. The single operator unit allows drivers to interact with computer-generated vehicles in a realistic environment.
“While the simulator isn’t exactly the same as our real machinery, it allows the Airmen to train without causing real damage to our equipment,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Quail, 773d Logistics Readiness Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of training, validation and operations. “We are currently in the beginning stages of the program. We’re working on creating lesson plans and scenarios for our Airmen.”
The simulator features four monitors, three pedals, a steering wheel, an adjustable chair and a gear shift to make it as realistic as possible. It also includes a high-resolution visual system, multiple malfunction capabilities, a scenario developer that can recreate collisions, and more than a hundred different simulations.
“The settings allow for a variety in training, which can help Airmen overcome fears of driving specialized vehicles in a slew of conditions,” Quail said. “It’s a great tool to potentially reduce accidents on the base.”
Airmen will have the capabilities to test different vehicles, road conditions and equipment before taking their skills into the real world.
“Having the opportunity to train on the simulator has helped me learn how to drive stick-shift,” said Airman 1st Class Collin Parrish, 773d Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transporter. “I learned everything from how to start a manual transmission, how to feather the clutch and how to shift gears. The entire process of learning manual is made easier by working first on the simulator and then moving to a tractor trailer.”
Parrish also said having the simulator as a training tool provides a solid foundation to build upon.
“The goal for the simulator is to increase our safety and training, while also lowering the cost of damages and repairs to our equipment,” Quail said. “We appreciate having the ability to further our skills on the simulator, and create more confident and efficient Airmen. The training our personnel will get is invaluable.”