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NEWS | March 12, 2020

433rd Airlift Wing honorary commanders tour Operations Group

By Master Sgt. Kristian Carter 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Eight 433rd Airlift Wing honorary commanders toured the 433rd Operations Group at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland March 7.

The honorary commanders started the morning with a briefing on the group’s mission before a hands-on multi-aircraft virtual reality training system prototype demonstration, and flying in a C-5M Super Galaxy simulator.

This is the third in a series of tours covering the wing's groups.

“The virtual reality training demonstration was incredible,” said Roy Elizondo, City of Fair Oaks Ranch mayor pro tem. “The software tool was impressive enough but what was most incredible was the people that are the brains behind the strategy. We learned that their goal was to achieve effective training and up-to-date field operations guides that would be highly available for a diverse, dispersed work force. I was very highly impressed with the brain power and dedication to their mission that went into the product that was produced. I was also very impressed with the forethought and smart decisions being made on how to strategically manage the technology life cycle.”

The 433rd OG and the Career Enlisted Aviator Center of Excellence are playing major roles in the development of the virtual reality system. This system will be used in initial and proficiency training for career enlisted aviators. One of the missions of the 433rd AW is to train C-5M aircrews. The use of virtual reality training will ease the burden on aircraft, saving taxpayer money and allowing greater training flexibility.

Another stop on the tour allowed the honorary commanders to “fly” in the wing’s C-5M simulator.

“It’s a really innovative way to train people at a lower cost and probably give them a higher quality of understanding and experience, which means they’ll be more advanced when they get to the real aircraft,” said Steve Young, VIA Metropolitan Transit vice president of technology and innovation. “It could be applicable outside of the military as well. It is a fascinating technology.”

“The simulator experience was like Disney on steroids,” Elizondo said. “Another item checked off on my bucket list.”

The honorary commander program matches military commanders with local business and civic leaders to foster and grow an understanding of the military’s mission and its impact on the surrounding community.

Honorary commanders in attendance for this tour included Laura Cabanilla, San Antonio Chamber/San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce co-chair Leadership San Antonio 44; Roy Elizondo, City of Fair Oaks Ranch mayor pro tem; Robert Imler, government relations consultant; Andrea Knight, Frost Bank assistant vice president/group financial center manager; Don Preecs, 3M manager quality engineering; Craig Veltri, Office Resource Center president; Rich Weimert, San Antonio Missions Baseball director of baseball operations; and Steve Young, VIA Metropolitan Transit vice president of technology and innovation.