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Air Force to design specialized simulations for tactical training.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The Air Force not only is shifting a percentage of live flying time into simulations but also small-unit tactical training.

In addition to the quarterly "Virtual Flag" exercises that train hundreds of airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines across the United States and overseas, the Air Force will host smaller exercises, called Warfighter Focus events. They will link 10 to 25 participants on up to seven weapon systems to train in a simulated environment.

"It's our attempt to narrow down the focus of some of these events. Virtual Flag is a big theater-level exercise, but sometimes there are vignettes or threats that you want to practice in more detail," says Maj. Brynt Query, deputy of operations for the 705th Combat Training Squadron.

The Warfighter Focus events will run like a one-day version of Virtual Flag.

Specialized units, such as reconnaissance, surveillance and long-range strike wings, will link into the training event through simulators at their home stations. They will fly a mission and then debrief via video teleconference. Then, they will re-fly the mission to reinforce lessons learned, says Query.

The initial five sessions include combat search and rescue, time-sensitive targeting and dissimilar aircraft combat training missions.

"You can do one of these and potentially go fly your jet" immediately afterwards, says Lt. Col. Donald Drechsler, commander of the 705th Combat Training Squadron.

While some scenarios and environments can be borrowed or recycled from Virtual Flag exercises, others will need to be generated from scratch.
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Comment:Air Force to design specialized simulations for tactical training.(AIR FORCE TRAINING)
Author:Jean, Grace
Publication:National Defense
Date:May 1, 2007
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