Officials at Kirtland AFB, N.M., have formally accepted an aircraft simulator for the HC-130P personnel recovery platform. The simulator provides a high-fidelity training environment for a five-person HC-130 aircrew, according to Maj. Martin Golden, assistant director of operations for Kirtland’s 58th Training Squadron. “For pilots, it does a good job emulating aircraft handling in a wide variety of flight conditions,” said Golden. He continued, “Navigators gain experience in the operation of radar, forward-looking infrared, and defensive systems. Flight engineers and radio operators master aircraft systems, and the entire crew builds familiarity in flight operations while adapting to the personnel recovery mission.” The simulator can hold the entire crew plus four instructors, something previous simulators could not. The acceptance ceremony took place April 8. FlightSafety International supplies the $14 million simulator, which is located in Building 950 on the installation. (Kirtland report by Stefan T. Bocchino)
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.