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58 SOW to open two new simulators

A UH-1N assigned to the 512th Rescue Squadron lands while another hovers overhead Dec. 27. U.S. Air Force Photo by John Cochran.

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A pair of HH-60Gs assigned to the 512th Rescue Squadron fly in formation Dec. 28. U.S. Air Force Photo by John Cochran.

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KIRTLAND AFB, N.M. -- The 58th Special Operations Wing will cut the ribbon 1:30 p.m. Monday at Building 958 unveiling two new flight simulators.

The devices are a UH-1N weapons system trainer and a fully integrated HH-60G aerial gunner scanner simulator and weapon systems trainer. They will be used in initial qualification, upgrade training and refresher training for Air Combat Command and Air Force Global Strike Command aircrews.

"They are brand-new state-of-the-art simulators," said Lt. Col. John Taylor, 58th Training Squadron HH-60G program manager. "Because of their higher fidelity, we can take some of the sorties off the flightline and into the simulator. The cost per hour of using a simulator is much less than using actual aircraft."

Cost savings are a key component of simulator use.

"I can do a lot of things in the simulator that I can't do in an aircraft," said Taylor. "This is especially true on emergency procedures. That benefit is huge."

The UH-1N simulator cost $11 million, while the HH-60G simulator cost $17.1 million, said Taylor. The annual savings in using the UH-1N simulator is estimated at $6.7 million, while the savings using the HH-60G simulator is approximately $32 million a year in flying hours.

"The UH-1N simulator does not have the flight engineer position," said Taylor. "However, we are trying to have modifications done to the simulator to add it."

According to the Air Education and Training Command fact sheet for the UH-1N simulator, it is capable of flight simulation with a high-quality visual system. It also allows the introduction of emergency procedures, adverse weather situations and night vision goggle training. This helps prepare crew members for flight in actual adverse conditions.

The AETC fact sheet for the HH-60G simulator states that the training function of the simulator has stations for all crew positions, including the aerial gunner and flight engineer.

"Having positions for the gunner and flight engineer brings in the total crew concept," said Taylor. "This will allow us to take even more flights off the flightline."

Taylor said that the 58 TRS will start with small steps in taking the flights off the flightline and into the simulator. If the situation warrants it, he said they would take more flights into the simulator.

"These simulators represent a transformational change for Air Force personnel recovery, missile site support and distinguished visitor aircrew training," said Taylor. "Crews will now train as an integrated element, developing critical crew resource management skills."