HomeNewsArticle Display

Aircrew training device saves AMC time, money

Staff Sgt. Katherine Stanton, 15th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, completes one-on-one hypoxia training in the Reduced Oxygen Breathing Device and Hypoxia Familiarization Trainer. For the training, Airmen fly a C-17 flight task simulation as the ROBD precisely mixes nitrogen and reduced oxygen to equivalent oxygen concentrations at higher altitudes. This allows Airmen to see how hypoxia affects their motor skills and to experience their symptoms in a low risk environment.

Staff Sgt. Katherine Stanton, a 15th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, completes one-on-one hypoxia training in the reduced oxygen breathing device and hypoxia familiarization trainer. During this training, Airmen fly a C-17 flight task simulation as the ROBD precisely mixes nitrogen and reduced oxygen to equivalent oxygen concentrations at higher altitudes. This allows Airmen to see how hypoxia affects their motor skills and to experience their symptoms in a low risk environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. William A. O’Brien)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) -- Members of Joint Base Charleston celebrated the standup of the Total Force Aerospace and Operational Physiology Team along with the unveiling of the reduced oxygen breathing device (ROBD) and hypoxia familiarization trainer during a ceremony here May 2, 2017.

The ROBD is used to provide 437th and 315th Airlift Wing aircrews with aerospace physiology refresher training. Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen rich blood supply at the tissue level.

“While an altitude chamber induces hypoxia by decreasing the total pressure surrounding an individual, the ROBD functions by delivering a breathing mixture with reduced oxygen,” said Lt. Col. Trevor Schar, the 628th Medical Group vice commander. “This method removes all risks to conditions associated with exposure to low barometric pressure such as the bends or ear and sinus blocks.”

By using the device, Airmen receive their five-year required physiology training in a realistic simulation, locally and without the risks associated with the hypobaric chamber.

"This is a more accurate representation of what would be happening if I were to experience hypoxia," said Staff Sgt. Katherine Stanton, a 15th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. "In the aircraft, I would be wearing this mask during High Altitude Low Opening operations and performing airdrop tasks, which are not simulated in the hypobaric chamber, so this gives me a realistic situation to test my reaction to hypoxia."

The ROBD will save nearly $225,000 and 240 days of manpower annually because aircrews requiring the training will no longer need to travel to the nearest available altitude chamber. The hypoxia demonstration in the ROBD takes 30 minutes compared to almost two hours in the altitude chamber.

“This device epitomizes Airmen seeking innovation,” said Lt. Col. Erin Meinders, the 437th Operations Group vice commander. “There was no plan for any of this even a few years ago and then a few squadron commanders identified an inefficiency and took action to correct it. These are the results of those actions.”

The ROBD provides Airmen with one-on-one hypoxia training. Airmen fly a C-17 flight task simulation as the ROBD precisely mixes nitrogen and reduced oxygen to equivalent oxygen concentrations at higher altitudes. This allows Airmen to see how hypoxia affects their motor skills and to experience their symptoms in a low risk environment.

“Everyone’s symptoms are different,” said Maj. Kasie Gaona, an Air Force reservist. “This training allows each student to experience their own unique symptoms in a task specific environment.”

The second portion of the hypoxia training demonstrates the effects of low oxygen on night vision. During the training, oxygen levels are slowly decreased while Airmen, in the dark, are looking at a color wheel. After a few minutes, 100 percent oxygen is administered and Airman typically see a great improvement in their vision.

About 1,200 members of Joint Base Charleston will receive training using the ROBD each year. In its first day of operation, five Airmen received training on the device.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Jumping from a plane becomes a big step toward friendship. 301 soldiers and airmen from @USArmyReserve, @usairforce, and…
Explosive Disposal Ordnance (EOD) Airmen are often assigned to some of the most dangerous missions and perform tact… https://t.co/xYc9Ip5psn
Start this year by supporting your #Airmen in their pursuit of #resiliency. Learn about common triggers of invisibl… https://t.co/6gJSfJKvcK
RT @OHNationalGuard: The @180thFW hosted members of the Nigerian Air Force recently Officers visited the 180FW in search of #bestpractice
RT @HiAirGuard: Airmen from 154th Security Forces Squadron became first responders during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear…
RT @US_SOCEUR: U.S. #airmen assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing perform maintenance on a CV-22B #Osprey aircraft in Szolnok, #Hung
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @AFResearchLab s X-60A program achieved a key developmental #milestone with the completion of integrated vehicle propulsio…
RT @DeptofDefense: If you want to get there as fast as possible, don’t stop for gas. ⛽ That’s why the @usairforce relies on airmen like Tec…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to learn more about @USAFCENT, the command that provides air & space warfighting capabilities to help defeat v…
Airmen with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard provide support at the “tent cities” to support Task Force South and… https://t.co/zg2yT0LqpS
Even the most advanced aircraft in history requires extensive maintenance performed by Airmen on the ground to kee… https://t.co/Kpv8JlzYIc
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Throwback Thursday and #TankerThirstThursday are the same game. Throwing it back to last month when a KC-135 Stratotank…
If you thought the C-5M Super Galaxy was cool before, wait until you hear @RichardHammond describe it and its capab… https://t.co/jbYbdyHx5q
Air National Guardsmen from @105AW are on the ground in Puerto Rico with their counterpart, @PRNationalGuard, provi… https://t.co/ZwzhCEpWY4
RT @HAFB: Join us for the Hill Air Force Base 80th Anniversary Celebration from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Hill Aerospace Museum! A nu…
Ranges are crucial to the training and readiness of our warfighters. Get an inside look at how they prepare to figh… https://t.co/i5CnbpBGAw
.@cmsaf18 and his wingman, Senior Enlisted Advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief Master Sergeant… https://t.co/UD69jCjHPz
#AirForce is always looking for ways to improve processes and patient health care is no different. @JBSA_Official h… https://t.co/ysEFjoXYCE
RT @USAF_ACC: You know what day it is. #WarthogWednesday! 🐗👏 #DYK the weapon on the #A10Thunderbolt II is a 30 millimeter GAU-8 and is des…
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Earlier today, @SpaceForceCSO Gen. John W. Raymond became the first ever Chief of Space Operations. @VP Vice President M…