19.02.2014 Shani Pomes - IAF
The Heavy Transport Division's new training center opens at the Nevatim airbase. The new center will train and instruct aircrews from the division, which is comprised of four different types of aircrafts and dozens of missions. The vision: a full squadron of heavy transport simulators
Nevatim airbase, located in the Negev, inaugurated a new training center for the IAF's Heavy Transport Division, which will be responsible for training from the basics to qualification maintenance.
The division currently consists of different squadrons: the "Hercules C-130" squadron, the "Boeing 707" squadron, the "Gulfstream" squadron and the soon-to-be operational "Hercules C-130J" squadron.
Yet, despite their numbers, until now there has not been a single body that concentrated the training and each squadron had to take care of its aircrews without professional assistance.
"The reason the Heavy Transport Division didn't have a training center until now was that the simulators were located abroad, outside of Israel", explains Colonel P', Head of the Training Department. "Over time, we realized that in order to operate with the correct training culture we were aiming for, we need to have a training center that would handle these issues".
"Pure training center"
The missions of the Heavy Transport Division are quite varied and as such, the new training center will have to provide an instructional, diverse and satisfactory response. To this end, a research and development section was established within the training center: a section comprised of non-commissioned officers and multimedia producers who will be responsible for the design of the training.
"Until the summer, the first aircrews will complete the construction of the work plan and starting in the summer, the center will begin working with a premade work plan. Every section of the division will start enjoying the achievements of the center and will take part in the training process", said Lieutenant Colonel Eitan, commander of the "Desert Giants" squadron which operates "Boeing 707". "This site is a pure training center, which will provide a solution to all relevant squadrons".
Coming Soon: A Training Squadron
The inauguration of the center is actually the first step among many in a long-term process of developing the instructional training in the Heavy Transport Division.
"This is only the beginning. We envision this center being part of a training squadron", adds Lieutenant Colonel Eitan.
"Even though, we currently don't have any simulators, this center is looking a few years ahead. I hope that in the future we'll see upgraded Hercules C-130 and Hercules C-130J simulators, maybe someday even a "Boeing 707" aerial refueling simulator", said Brigadier General Lihu Hacohen, commander of the Nevatim airbase. "At the end of the day, this professional training will put us, as a division, in a much better place".