Santa Barbara
67° F
Clear
Clear
Santa Maria
67° F
Clear
Clear
San Luis Obispo
67° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
67° F
Clear
Clear

Vandenberg moves into new age of training

By Andrew Gray, NewsChannel 3 Reporter, agray@keyt.com
Published On: Jun 27 2013 10:16:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 28 2013 05:01:58 PM CDT

A new way of training for combat

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -

Since 1941 Vandenberg Air Force Base has been a training installation. More than 72 years later and that has not changed.

Now the base has one of the most high-tech training tools in the country and it shares it with other agencies as well.

Five screens surround a small room with real-life videos projected on them.

“I’ve gone overseas three times. Twice to Afghanistan and once over to Iraq. So I’ve gone through a variety of deployment training and this is the first time I have gone through something like this,” said Major Stacie Shafran.

Major Shafran has been on the front lines of reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, working to make schools and events safe for the Afghan people.

“It’s very realistic. I mean, the scenario that we just did reminded me of being over in Afghanistan where you are constantly scanning the horizon,” said Major Shafran.

More than a hundred different scenarios can be displayed on the screens, depending on the training needed. Open combat, clearing a building and even school shootings for local law enforcement can be simulated.

“We have branched out to local police departments, sheriff’s office, even the Department of Justice has come out,” said Staff Sergeant Jesse Phillips.

It is all controlled by a computer and with a push of a button, the situation can change in an instant.

“This allows us to branch out and change up the scenario based on the individual training at the time,” said Staff Sergeant Phillips.

The realism of the simulation room is intense. The sounds of helicopters, guns firing and people screaming sound exactly like they do in real-world situations.

“It’s one of the state-of-the-art simulators, one of the best on the market. It allows us to fully immerse ourselves within an actual combat situation or law enforcement situation,” said Staff Sergeant Phillips.

And there is a camera inside the simulator that shows trainees what they are doing right and what they’re doing wrong.

Vandenberg is the only active-duty Air Force base to have this technology.

This form of training is also saving the military money in the long run, roughly $80,000 a year.

“Ammunition being the cost that it is, and it is about $1.37 per live round and $2.00 per simunition round. To fire this weapon is less than a penny a shot,” said Staff Sergeant Phillips.

For those who enter and think it’s just a giant video game, think again.

Staff Sergeant Phillips explained how this simulator takes training to the next level, “Threat fire is essentially a Taser that hooks onto the belt, and if people aren’t taking it seriously enough or if people aren’t watching their partners, they get shot, whatever it may be, it shocks you.”

It is proving to be a valuable training asset for all who enter.

“We do all this training so that when you do step into country, you are ready to go. Nothing should be a surprise. I thought just going through that scenario was very realistic. It got my pulse up and I could feel my breathing intensifying,” said Major Shafran.

This doesn’t completely replace shooting live ammunition. The Airmen and women still train on a range.

But it does present real-life situations, which ultimately help in the battlefield, an office building or even a school.

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.