Dyess Air Force base adds virtual reality to maintenance training program

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – You’ve got the big headsets and the controllers, but this video game is all work and no play.

“This is the future of training,” said 317th MXG Instructor Tech Sgt. Timothy Hogge.

Tech Sgt. Hogge and Staff Sgt. Christopher Clinton have been working for the past year to bring a new form of training to the base, utilizing virtual reality to help teach airmen C-130 maintenance.

The two say the program replicates the feeling of working on a C-130 without getting your hands dirty.

“We can actually see every single student get trained to the level they need to,” said Staff Sgt. Clinton.

This is something both agree is an upgrade from the previous way of training.

“If I take an airman out to the plane and I’m training them, they could walk away and forget everything,” said Tech Sgt. Hogge. “In this, I’ll have a report that tells me exactly what they understood and by the time that’s done, we will have a provable method that they’ve learned.”

Aside from the fact that this program gives each trainee their own set of wings to learn on, it also leaves room for mistakes without consequences.

“Out on the flight line, there’s a real barrier of just saying ‘I don’t want to touch anything because if I touch something, maybe something breaks and then down the line, that costs somebody their lives,” said Staff Sgt. Hogge.

Whether they’re training newbies or teaching veterans new things, those at Dyess Air Force Base say they’re excited to be able to lead a path to the future.

Dyess AFB has the largest C-130 VR room in Air Mobility Command and is the first to create a program like this surrounded around maintenance training.

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