HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force Academy launches new Airmanship Next program

Airmanship Next

Cadet 1st Class Cade Cavanagh uses an immersive training device during a Pilot Training Next course this summer at the U.S. Air Force Academy airfield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jennifer Spradlin)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) --

The Air Force Academy redesigned its Airmanship program to give cadets more opportunities to experience the Air Force’s flying mission and produce the best pool of rated candidates.

Launched at the start of the fall semester, Airmanship Next augments live-flight at the airfield with virtual reality training to reach cadets who may have been excluded in the past by scheduling conflicts and infuses more aviation training into the four-year cadet developmental model.

“The reality is that less than half of the cadets from a typical class experience powered flight,” said Col. John Garver, academy operations and analysis, director. “We want to inspire cadets to go into rated careers by eliminating situations where cadets are interested in rated operations but have limited opportunities to try them out.”

The Academy has purchased 16 immersive training devices and will add 12 more by early 2020; the devices will be split between the cadet area and the airfield. The low cost per unit, ability to continue training when weather does not allow flying at the airfield, and 100% completion rate offered through the Cadet Aviation Lab creates a win-win situation for the Academy and its cadets. Everyone has the opportunity to experience Air Force operations via an immersive airmanship course, he said.

“[The program] will help us meet cadets where they are and tailor their experiences to get them where they need to go to make informed career choices, including whether to volunteer for rated positions,” Garver said.

Training on immersive training devices can be customized to benefit different learning styles and cadets can focus on getting multiple repetitions on key aviation skills. Confidence building in a low-threat environment helps boost the cadet’s confidence in their ability to succeed in aviation careers, he said.

“The amount of people who can go through this training and grow in their airmanship skills – I think it’s amazing, and I recommend it to all the cadets in my squadron,” said Cadet 2nd Class Daniel Shemon. Shemon volunteered to be one of the first cadets to go through the VR training. He is currently enrolled in powered flight and intends on pursuing a rated career as a pilot.

“Sometimes I come to the lab in the evenings to get in some extra practice on certain skills – approaches, pattern work, you name it – it really helps me develop my muscle memory,” Shemon said.

Initial feedback has shown a positive correlation between early participants in the VR training and live-flight performance in powered flight. Powered flight solo flights and overall completion rates are higher than they have been in previous years.

“The cadets are showing up a lot more prepared and knowledgeable about radio calls and traffic patterns,” said Capt. Bryan Rhoades, powered flight program flight commander and 2012 graduate. “It’s the difference between training a cadet who is a blank slate and a cadet who would appear to have a flight or two already under their belt.”

Cadets in powered flight typically complete 12 flights before solo and check ride flights. He said the ITDs allow him to maximize that training time to prepare cadets to be successful at flight training after graduation.

As the Academy works closely with Air Education and Training Command to produce qualified pilot candidates, the program is also pursuing an initial flight training equivalency option for top cadet performers from the class of 2021.

The goal of the Airmanship program is to provide an operations-based experience utilizing current and emerging assets centered on one of the Air Force’s three core mission domains – airpower – in order to develop leaders of character for today and tomorrow’s Air Force. The continued success of Airmanship Next is crucial to ensuring the Academy graduates and commissions the best-prepared rated candidates for the Air Force.

Engage

Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: Check out how these members of #TeamAUAB are supporting the Afghanistan drawdown! https://t.co/gesLaMgNZs #GrandSlamWi
Twitter
“This exercise demonstrated our ability to integrate with sister service units to deliver troopers halfway around t… https://t.co/h3l2Z31fu7
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: There is a reason why my Action Orders are bookended by Airmen & Design Implementation. If we empower our Airmen there’s…
Twitter
Everyone is susceptible to invisible wounds. Recognizing one of these wounds & using positive language when discuss… https://t.co/hHpr7HSXmq
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: #ICYMI, The @124FighterWing unveiled a new heritage paint scheme on a one of the fleet's A-10 aircraft. The design commem…
Twitter
Maj. Gen. Dewey K. K. Lowe, a pilot who flew combat missions in WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam War, found his pa… https://t.co/pOg8zxjXPZ
Twitter
The Department of the #AirForce selected the candidate locations to host the next Reserve and active duty main oper… https://t.co/ZrHXy3kzrr
Twitter
RT @1stAF: Annual aerial wildland firefighting training continues. @USairnationalguard & @USAFReserve members flying @usairforce C-130 MAF…
Twitter
Campia Turzii is a key strategic location that requires modern infrastructure to support air mobility missions, hos… https://t.co/b4wTyvxhao
Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: #Watch an @usairforce C-17 Globemaster III offload @USArmy troops and equipment ISO @USArmyEURAF exercise #DefenderEurope2
Twitter
“We need to protect information from our adversaries, which is why we have taken the extra time & steps to ensure o… https://t.co/qRyBey4b8k
Twitter
RT @AFWERX: Are you looking to learn more about the newly launched #HSVTOLChallenge? Ask questions and hear from subject matter experts at…
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Lt. Col. Angelina Stephens, 366th Maintenance Squadron commander at the @366FW, discusses her path to overcoming sever…
Twitter
The #AirForce week in photos are in, which one catches your eye the most? View the rest at: https://t.co/1LCpd9Kly8 https://t.co/IdkWaL4c5z
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: After receiving target data from sensors located more than 1,000 nautical miles away, a B-52 bomber took a simulated sh…
Twitter
Armed Forces Day is celebrated as a day to pay tribute and honor those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.… https://t.co/3d50X0sRur
Twitter
A new simulator at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, is expected to provide substantial cost savings to the squa… https://t.co/t4oYd9EkBC
Twitter
“We want to make sure our culture is inclusive, enabling all Airmen & Guardians to serve their country & contribute… https://t.co/2XzBFWGhCX
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: For more than 60 years, #NORAD has evolved to meet the threats to our nations. Moving forward, NORAD will focus on enhanc…
Twitter
RT @97AMW: One of our very own members traveled to New York to help administer COVID-19 vaccines! SrA Taylor Riner, 97th MDG family practic…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,439
Follow Us