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USAFE WPC introduces new domed simulator

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration director, observes U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Oregan, USAFE Warrior Preparation Center Air Ground Operations School Joint Terminal Attack Controller instructor, as he runs a simulation using the Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System at the WPC at Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany, Nov. 2, 2017. Thomas visited the WPC to participate in the ribbon cutting event for the new domed simulator. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

Maj. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration director, observes Tech. Sgt. John Oregan, USAFE Warrior Preparation Center Air Ground Operations School Joint Terminal Attack Controller instructor, as he runs a simulation using the Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System at the WPC at Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany, Nov. 2, 2017. Thomas visited the WPC to participate in the ribbon cutting event for the new domed simulator. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration director; U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Rider, USAFE Warrior Preparation Center commander; and WPC personnel cut a ribbon declaring the Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System’s operational status at the WPC at Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany, Nov. 2, 2017. The new training simulator uses multiple 4K projectors to display a 270 degree field of view for the joint terminal attack controllers. The system allows JTACs to train in a realistic and immersive setting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

Maj. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration director; Col. Michael Rider, USAFE Warrior Preparation Center commander and WPC personnel cut a ribbon declaring the Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System’s operational status at the WPC at Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany, Nov. 2, 2017. The new training simulator uses multiple 4K projectors to display a 270 degree field of view for the joint terminal attack controllers. The system allows JTACs to train in a realistic and immersive setting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

EINSIEDLERHOF, Germany (AFNS) -- The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Warrior Preparation Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony highlighting the delivery and operational status of the new Joint Terminal Attack Controller domed simulator Nov. 2, 2017.

A JTAC’s job is to direct the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support. The domed simulator, named Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System, is designed to support training for JTACs in the performance of terminal control, terminal guidance, close air support and joint fires operations training.

“We’re here to mark the significance of an increase of training capability at the Warrior Preparation Center that is represented as a JTAC dome,” said Maj. Grant Spear, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa WPC chief of operations. “This allows JTACs in the USAFE-AFAFRICA theater to train at a higher level of fidelity.”

The new training simulator uses multiple 4K projectors to display a 270 degree field of view for the JTACs. They can even use emulated binoculars, night vision and M4 carbine during their training.

“This expands the realism and capabilities of the virtual training systems that we have for JTACs,” said Spear.

Maj. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, Headquarters USAFE-AFAFRICA Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration director, said the new simulator ultimately enhances capability provided to combatant commanders.

“Our job in the air component is to provide options to our joint force commander, General (Curtis) Scaparrotti here in (European Command) and General (Thomas) Waldhauser in AFRICOM,” said Thomas. “You take it all the way down to effects from the air domain, and the only way we can do that safely and effectively in close proximity to friendly forces is by having a JTAC on the ground, and that JTAC has to be current, qualified, capable and proficient. This system right here makes them better at all of those.”

The WPC plans to involve the dome simulator in their future large scale exercises including their Spartan Eagle exercise which involves JTACs in Europe as well as Airmen stationed stateside.

One advantage of virtual training is the cost-saving aspect of not traveling to a range, or expending jet fuel. Instead, many combat environments can be simulated in the system.