For the past 19 years, Lockheed Martin has been running the Aircrew Training and Rehearsal Support program at Hurlburt Field, Fla., (as well as some operations at Kirtland AFB, N.M.) for the Air Force’s special operations and rescue aircrews. According to Lockheed Martin’s Flight Training Director Tom Dorsey, the effort has not only provided normal contract logistics support and onsite technology upgrades and modifications, but also formal training for an estimated 1,200 fixed and rotary wing students a year. Another 2,600 students come in for refresher training, working, along with 108 instructors, in a fully computer-networked environment. The result is a more unified and consistent training effort across AFSOC, from HH-60 Pave Hawks to C-130 Combat Talon crews that does not take aircraft out of operational status. The “soup to nuts approach” covers nearly every aspect of training outside tactics, Dorsey told us during a visit to the company’s Orlando facility.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.