Science and Technology News

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Joint Inspection simulator now available on ADLS

by Capt. Sybil Taunton
U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center

7/24/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGRUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J.  -- The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center's Mobility Operations School recently fielded the Joint Inspection Instruction Simulator on the USAF Advanced Distributive Learning Service; the first simulator of its kind to run completely on ADLS.

The simulator can be used by both Joint Inspection instructors for use in class as a teaching aid and for JI users across the Air Force and Department of Defense to enhance training capabilities.

"The Joint Inspection Instructor Course Simulator provides a realistic scenario of cargo for joint inspections," said Domenic Fazzo, Logistics Training Division chief for the MOS. "The training simulation incorporates a robust environment not otherwise available with current classroom capabilities and provides a realistic experience for students."

According to Fazzo, the basic setting for the simulator is a cargo warehouse with interchangeable cargo loads that include vehicles, trailers, tracked vehicles, hazardous and non-hazardous cargo, pallet trains and pallets.

"Specifically, 24 different pieces of equipment have been built and are available to make an aircraft load," said Fazzo. "These pieces of cargo are equally divided amongst aerospace ground equipment, pallets with nets and other more complicated pallets, and various cargo from the Air Force and sister services."

The simulation is rendered using a fully immersive game-based training technology that allows users to grab, open and inspect items in the virtual world.

"The simulation provides the inspectors with challenges associated with unique cargo types, including inappropriate fuel levels, leaks, hazardous materials, warped pallets, and broken or inaccurately applied cargo tie-downs," Fazzo said.

The training allows students to freely maneuver an avatar around pieces of cargo to ensure proper markings, labeling, free of damage and proper security. Students can also verify scale weights and use a virtual measuring tape to properly calculate measurements and markings.

"The simulator includes all corresponding regulatory guidance and forms available, allowing students to properly complete the forms as if they were accomplishing an actual inspection," said Fazzo. "The sample cargo contains built in common discrepancies the students may encounter, requiring them to identify the appropriate forms."

Along with all of the essential cargo equipment and documentation, the simulator includes additional capabilities to provide students with a more realistic computer-based training experience.

"Artificial intelligence is provided to create interactions and dialogues with personnel normally associated with a Joint Inspection. Noises like radio chatter and people interrupting with lesser priority information are included to mimic a realistic cargo marshaling environment," said Fazzo. "A scoring mechanism has also been built into the simulation to provide students with feedback at the end to highlight proper resolution of cargo discrepancies and accurate completion of all required forms."

This simulator, previously only available while attending in-residence courses at the Expeditionary Center, is now available 24 hours a day for Airmen across the globe.

"The vision for the Mobility Operations School has always been to mirror the mission environment in the classroom, permitting students to gain real confidence in their ability to effectively operate at their home units," said Mr. Rudy Becker, MOS director. "This initiative now extends that vision to online training, particularly powerful given our current fiscal environment."

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