USAFSAM welcomes C-17 trainer, first in Air Force

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Sections of a C-17 Globemaster III fuselage, transformed into an aeromedical evacuation trainer by the 502nd Trainer Development Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, began arriving here May 18.

"This platform will be used for simulated in-flight and ground training for over 600 nurses, doctors, and medical technicians attending the Flight Nursing, Aeromedical Evacuation Technician, and Critical Care Air Transport Team courses to enhance their ability to render en route care at altitude for stable to traumatically wounded critical care patients," said Col. Annette Gablehouse, the International and Expeditionary Education and Training Department Chair at the 711th Human Performance Wing's U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine.

Transformed from a Boeing durability test model, this C-17 aeromedical evacuation trainer is the first in the Air Force, Gablehouse said.

This project, which began in 2011 when the Air Force purchased the fuselage from Boeing, creates a realistic C-17 aeromedical training environment for students at USAFSAM. The C-17 is the most commonly used aircraft for aeromedical evacuation, and will provide students with a realistic training environment that includes simulated capabilities such as aircraft noise, temperature changes, smoke, low-light operations, and other in-flight mission variations.

"Students will hear the same sounds they hear on the ground: engines running up, taking off, in-flight sounds, landing, and powering down," said Michael White, 502nd Trainer Development Squadron engineer technician.

Various sections of the C-17, which were dismantled for transportation, will continue to arrive here on semi-trucks over the next month, will be reassembled in June, and then moved into USAFSAM's Aeromedical Evacuation Training Facility in mid-July.

According to Master Sgt. Raymond Owens of USAFSAM, this trainer will be ready for student and instructor use in October.

USAFSAM currently has two C-130s inside their training facility, but will move one outside onto a newly constructed large concrete slab in order to move the new C-17 trainer into the facility.