Kishan Shetty (far right), of JANUS, showcases the company’s B-52 communication trainer prototype during the ATC Showcase Demo held at STRIKEWERX in Bossier City, Louisiana, in February 2024. (Sean Green/STRIKEWERX)

By Sean Green | STRIKEWERX Marketing and Communication Director

BOSSIER CITY, La. — Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) celebrated the delivery of three new advanced training prototypes with a special demonstration day at STRIKEWERX in Bossier City, Louisiana.

As the command’s innovation hub, hosted at the Cyber Innovation Center, STRIKEWERX at the AFGSC Office of the Chief Scientist invited Airmen to experience and test training prototypes for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), E-4B communications maintenance, and B-52 communications.

“This challenge successfully identified modern, agile, and engaging training tools to improve the overall effectiveness of training throughout the command.” said Dr. Donna Senft, AFGSC chief scientist. “These solutions combined the latest developments in psychology and understanding how people learn, to speed up training and improve retention.”

JANUS Research Group delivered a virtual reality trainer to help train B-52 crew members working on the aircraft’s communications.

“The process for this challenge has been really innovative,” said Kishan Shetty, principal computer scientist for JANUS Research Group. “At every stage, the end users were involved and that came through in the final product by getting to understand the problem and get valuable feedback.”

Long Wave presented a touch-screen emulator for maintainers working on the nuclear command, control, and communications array of the E-4B.

“Being able to roll up our sleeves and work with end users during development was the best part of this project. Having that level of contact was instrumental for the trainer’s development,” said Caitlin Boehm, Longwave development program manager.

Adaptive Immersion Technologies (AIT) showcased an interactive, game-based simulation training solution for EOD. The customized, virtual reality training is based around a scenario of EOD crews responding to a downed aircraft. The training is designed to test the same cognitive skills that users would need in a real-world scenario.

“We’re dealing with one of the most dangerous tasks and settings in the Department of Defense, so we had to work hand-in-hand with those Airmen to build a successful solution,” said Phillip Mangos, AIT president and chief scientist. “This technology will give EOD operators an immersive, hands-on solution to practice essential skills in an engaging virtual world. “All of the training prototypes feature a virtual environment or simulations with detailed training processes and performance feedback for instructors.

AIT, JANUS, and Long Wave all contracted with STRIKEWERX in late 2022 after being chosen via the STRIKEWERX Advanced Training Concepts Challenge. This market research sought effective, modern technologies and training methods for better trained, more competent, proficient, and skilled Airmen.