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Technology propels military strategy at AF Academy

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Seth Stang, U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs 

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – A $9.5 million project to enhance combat training is slated to be  unveiled at the Air Force Academy by the end of the year.

That project, installing a multi domain laboratory in the military and strategic studies department, will provide extra layers of realism to one of the school’s core courses, “air power and joint operations strategy,” said MSS instructor Master Sgt. Bonnie Rushing.

“Cadets will gain realistic operational experiences as we combine simulations with our department’s robust curriculum,” she said.

When complete, the lab will simulate two flight bays,  a remotely piloted aircraft control room and other computerized training aids.

“We need to prepare cadets for future conflict, so we will integrate and update technologies, tactics and theories into our classrooms and lab,” Rushing said. “This truly enhances our curriculum.”

The lab is designed to simulate electronic warfare;  intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance;  and contain 24 flight simulators for 10 fighter and bomber aircraft, and six remotely piloted aircraft rooms.

The air power and joint operations strategy course is the school’s only 4.5 credit-hour core course.

“Warfare is consistently evolving,” said MSS instructor Maj. Catherine Brewer. “As we commission new second lieutenants, they are expected to lead in an ever-changing and complex joint environment. The lab provides hands-on experiences to support their operational missions.”

Red Hoar, a software development program manager, teaches Master Sgt. Bonnie Rushing, a military and strategic studies instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, to operate the remotely piloted aircraft control room in the school’s multi domain laboratory, July 22, 2021. The lab will be part of the air power and joint operations strategy course, the school’s only 4.5 credit-hour core course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Seth Stang)