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NEWS | Feb. 17, 2015

Trainer development team preps C-17 for departure

By Maricris Moore Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

The C-17 Globemaster III became the most adaptable aircraft for the U.S. Air Force when it entered service in 1993. One of the major uses for a C-17 is for aeromedical evacuations to transport patients. For the first time, the U.S. Air Force will have a chance to give the retired fuselage of one C-17 a new purpose.

Four years ago, members of the 502nd Trainer Development Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph were given the task of transforming the fuselage into a fully functioning C-17 aeromedical evacuation trainer. Today, this C-17 is almost ready to be shipped to its final destination at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The fuselage came from Long Beach, Calif., and was previously used by Boeing as a test platform. In 2011, it was transported via flatbed truck to JBSA-Randolph to be converted into the first training center for students at the USAFSAM.

The transformation required a rebuild of the interior to replicate an actual C-17 that has the capability to transport patients. The fuselage was also engineered to provide several simulated capabilities to include sounds, temperature changes, smoke and other variances to provide a realistic C-17 aeromedical training environment.

"The C-17 AE trainer will fill a critical training need for more than 1,300 flight nurses, aeromedical technicians, critical care physicians, intensive care qualified nurses, respiratory nurses and flight surgeons per year who are all required to be deployment-qualified," Kevin Haley, 502nd Trainer Development Squadron director, said. "This training will prepare these medical professionals to better care for their patients in real world conditions."

Now members of USAFSAM will have the ability to provide various aeromedical training for students without taking a C-17 aircraft out of service.

"They can perform their initial training without having to tie up an actual aircraft," Michael White, 502nd Trainer Development Squadron engineer technician and project manager, said. "It's also an egress trainer where students can practice going through the procedures on how to get out of the aircraft in case of an emergency.

"Students will hear the same sounds they hear on the ground; engines running up, taking off, in-flight sounds, landing and powering down. Trainers will also be able to run a program to sequence a specific time that will simulate an actual flight."

The C-17 will be dismantled into five major pieces for transportation to Wright-Patterson AFB.  The move begins in March and continues through May.
White and his crew will travel to Wright-Patterson AFB in June to reassemble the C-17. His plan is to have the trainer being used for training by October.