Keesler uses VR to strengthen partnerships with community

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

In an effort to draw awareness to Keesler’s flying training mission, local city development managers and civic leaders used virtual reality and watched live aerial demonstrations, here, Jan. 23.

The 403rd Reserve Wing and 81st Training Group held briefings, workshops, and demonstrations to illustrate how development decisions made in the local community could potentially compromise Keesler’s flying mission.

“We wanted to give the civic leaders an idea of what we look at as airfield operations professionals,” said Tech Sgt. Andrew Meyer, 334th Training Squadron instructor supervisor. “We wanted to explain exactly how we serve the Air Force mission in our flying community and exactly what that means for partnerships with the local area.”

The 334th Training Squadron offered civic leaders a chance to use virtual reality to demonstrate why and how certain developments could harm Keesler’s air traffic. The 334th TRS prepared diagrams and graphics to illustrate how to take preventative action to reduce negative impact to the C-130J Super Hercules flying mission. The virtual reality helped explain the diagrams through imaginary surfaces, and mock ups of Keesler’s airspace.

“Imaginary surfaces are an extremely difficult concept,” said Meyer. “I can give you examples and references but it doesn’t really resonate until I put you in an environment where you actually get to see it.  The virtual reality system is key when trying to convey something that cannot be seen in a visual context.”

Meyer believes his workshop demonstrates the excellent partnership that Keesler has with the surrounding community.

“We want our community to grow while still supporting military operations,” said Meyer. “We’re making sure our operations can co-exist and still allow for maximum development on the gulf coast.”