After becoming a leading training tool for aircrews and being integrated in the aerial defense division, from now on IAF ground controller training will also be based on simulators
Tal Giladi & Eilon Tohar
An additional step forward in the world of simulators in the IAF: A new training center and simulator have been opened in Ouvda AFB. The utilization of the new simulator is expected to shorten the ground controllers’ training period from six months to a month and a half. All of the courses and basic training exercises that they need will be united under the new training center. “The new simulator that was integrated in May, is one of the most advanced in the world and simulated events exactly as they are viewed from the control towers in IAF AFBs”, shared Lt. Col. Shay, Commander of the ATC Unit in Ouvda AFB. “It simulates the aircraft’s movements around the runway and offers a 360 view. Thanks to the simulator, we now have the ability to train our controllers for scenarios that are difficult to simulate in reality, such as fire in an engine”.
A short time ago, a first, experimental course began in the training center. It is expected to enter regular service in January 2017. It is currently operated by operational ground control personnel who arrive at the training center from all over the IAF in order to contribute from their experience. “This is bigger than the integration of a new simulator, this is a conceptual change. Until now the IAF’s different towers trained their controllers in accordance with their base’s activity. As a result, we have operated according to different concepts and without a single standard”, explained Lt. Col. Shay. “Every base operates different platforms, so there are now gaps between the different controllers. Based on this understanding, we set out on a process to improve ground control in the IAF. We acquired new means and developed infrastructure for the upgrading of the towers, introduced debriefing systems and expanded the number of ground controllers in the IAF”.
One of the most significant steps in the conceptual change process was the establishment of the Ground Control Training Center in Ouvda AFB which will replace the training currently provided in each base. “The ground controllers learn to deal with emergencies and extreme situations and build their professional confidence, all of these will aid them in real time”, emphasized Capt. Maor Asulin from the System Engineering Department. “The GC Simulators are based on the same principles that aircrew simulators are based on: conserving sources”.
The integration of the GC simulator is a part of a trend of non-flight simulators in the IAF such as the aerial defense simulators that were integrated in the past years in the Aerial Defense Academy and a maintenance simulator that will be established in the IAF Technical Academy in the coming future.