Israel On The Cutting Edge Of 5th Generation F-35 Training
In the past few months, “Adir” (F-35I) pilots have begun performing sorties in the advanced simulator established in Nevatim AFB. An instruction center for the technicians responsible for maintaining the aircraft now operates under the same roof as well. “This instruction center is the first of its kind in the technical division. It allows us to do things we haven’t done before in training. We teach 25 different professions that have to do with the ‘Adir’ aircraft division here”, shared Maj. Tsahi Gino, Commander of the “Adir” Technician Instruction Center.
Photo credit: Celia Garion
Every “Adir” (F-35I) technician is chosen for the role ahead of time, for prior knowledge of the English language, among other things. The qualification process includes a ten week-long course in the instruction center. “The fact that we operate from an operational base contributes to the quality of our instruction. We visit the squadron every day; feel the aircraft and the connection with the squadron”, added Maj. Gino.
The simulator was integrated by the IAF as part of the aircraft acquisition deal with the “Lockheed-Martin” company, which is also responsible for its maintenance. The simulator is comprised of personal computer stations in which the aircraft’s routine maintenance work is demonstrated and explained to the technicians via various technological means. The center is also equipped with classrooms, and its personnel are currently working on establishing a unique lab to train technicians responsible for the aircraft’s ALIS (Autonomous Logistics Information System).
From their classrooms the technicians-in-training can hear the sounds of the HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelter), look into the cockpit, check the fuel flow or oil in the systems, disassemble a panel or wheel and put it back. They study technical literature with the help of advanced educational software and their instructors can see the trainees’ work from their own computers and examine their mistakes. “Training in the simulator is completely computerized and paper-free. We are currently integrating new capabilities into the instruction center that will allow the technicians to train for additional tasks such as mounting armament. In addition, we have already performed a pilot of a basic training program for officers from HQ, with the goal of exposing them to the ‘Adir’”, explained Master Sergeant Haim Sabah from the Material Directorate.