First virtual reality training arrives at Keesler

  • Published
  • By Airman Seth Haddix
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The 334th Training Squadron incorporated the first virtual reality training for Airfield Management students in the Air Force here, June 28, so they can get more of a “hands-on” learning experience.


Chief Master Sgt. Paul Portugal, Airfield Management career field manager, Pentagon, Washington DC, relates this new technology to the mission of Air Education and Training Command.


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


Master Sgt. Joshua Stillwagon, 334th TRS instructor, believes this new technology can teach the Airmen more efficiently than the previous, lecture-based class because of the hands-on experience.


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


The simulation includes the setting of an airfield and allows students to practice their job as if they were operational.


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


Portugal believes this training will not only help the future of airfield management training, but improve the overall training of Airmen.


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


Col. Leo Lawson Jr., previous 81st Training Group commander, was impressed with the quality of the new VR experience.


“The VR training simulations blew me away,” said Lawson. “Not only was it able to deliver the training our Airmen need to understand the concept of the job, but it did so with great quality.”