F-22 Raptor crew chiefs with the 52fifth Aircraft Maintenance Unit discuss a task at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardkid, Alaska, July 19. Air Education and also Training Command is working on a brand-new device of discovering that will assist put maintainers in touch through airmen roughly the world functioning on the exact same aircraft. (Airguy 1st Class Crystal A. Jenkins/Air Force) (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson )
JB SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast’s initially year as head of Air Education and Training Command has checked out the launch of an ambitious experiment to train pilots using online reality, a sweeping overhaul of enlisted skilled army education that scrapped its old distance learning courses, and an all-hands-on-deck effort to root out the cause of a rash of hypoxia-like events that has repetitively grounded its T-6 training aircraft.

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As Kwast viewpoints his second year, he’s planning to accelerate the rollout of the Air Force’s revised “Continuum of Learning.” He really hopes the new device will certainly make it easier for airmen to learn and control their career development, at their own pace, by providing them on-demand, digital accessibility to sources on training, education and learning and suffer, on any mobile tool.

“This is a social adjust,” Kwast shelp in a July 23 intercheck out at AETC headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas. “This is the mobile airman. It is the setting wright here eextremely airman deserve to go mobile, and also move at the speed of the 21st century.”

Continuum of Learning will certainly do more than steer airmen to YouTube-like videos on just how to readjust a tire on an F-35 — though those kinds of tutorials will certainly be component of it. It will certainly put airguys in touch through instructors and fellow airmales in their neighborhood — such as maintainers functioning on the exact same aircraft — to assist them brainstorm remedies to on-the-project difficulties.

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It have the right to aid airmen steer their very own breakthrough, ameans from a “linear” device where training schedules and demands are dictated to airmen, by letting them learn as quick or as slow as they need, Kwast said.

“Ultimately, you are in regulate,” Kwast said. “You can become anypoint you want, based on how aggressively you want to learn and also exactly how aggressively you want to adapt for any kind of world you desire to go into. Nothing is mandatory. The just point that we’re going to measure is performance: How well can you carry out your job?”

That could mean that a “bona fide genius” who has an inherent master of many kind of subjects required for his task can skip what he already knows, and dive appropriate into what he requirements to learn to reach the following level.


Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast addresses Air Education and Training Command also for the initially time after assuming command on Nov. 16, 2017. (Sean Worrell/Air Force)

“There’s nothing even more insulting and also demotivating than to have a kid that is a world-course cyber hacker go into a regime that states, ‘OK, we’re going to dumb you down for 2 years,’ ” Kwast said. “‘Here’s a 1, here’s a 0, and also here’s Fortran and also the test is in six weeks.’ And they are 6 light years ahead of that.”

In this way, the Air Force hopes to develop a society of life-long learning. But, while already-gifted airmales are skipping ahead to educational programs that truly difficulty them, they’re not skipping the “inculturation” procedure whereby they learn to be an airguy and warriors. It will certainly also have a collection of downloadable apps, including apps tailor-produced various bases that have the right to tell airmales about everything from social events for teenagers to gate closures to emergencies such as an active shooter, Kwast shelp.

The beta test for Continuum of Learning’s virtual “ecosystem” began in May, Kwast shelp. For a number of months, testers tried to wring it out, break and also uncover out what its limits are. The device can reach a new phase this loss as soon as it folds in those lessons learned.

Pilot training goes virtual

The Air Force reached a milestone Aug. 3 once it graduated the first 13 students from its Pilot Training Next program, a cutting-edge combination of virtual truth, synthetic knowledge and biometric tracking.

Those students pinned on their wings in 4 months, much much less than the full year a typical undergraduate pilot training regimen takes.

Kwast sassist the second Pilot Training Next class will certainly start in January 2019. When they’re finished, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilchild and Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein will certainly testimonial the data from the two classes and also decide whether this type of a training model might be offered throughout the Air Force.

Solving the hypoxia mystery

Kwast additionally said that after intensive reviews of the “undescribed physiological events,” such as hypoxia, that resulted in dangerous breathing difficulties for multiple T-6 Texan II pilots and also led to multiple groundings, the Air Force is finding even more clues and coming closer to solving the difficulty once and for all.

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For instance, the safety and security investigation board at Edwards Air Force Base in California uncovered that the propercent of oxygen in the air periodically fluctuates more than intended while T-6s are flying. Kwast stressed that isn’t the just issue the board discovered, and that it is not clear that the fluctuation is actually resulting in or contributing to the troubles. It might likewise be a mix of determinants working together.

But, Kwast sassist, it’s likely the root reason will be announced within the next few months.

“We’re finding insights that we did not understand prior to, that will help us understand what’s going on and also give us a pathway to resolving the trouble permanently,” he shelp. “We’re obtaining cshed. You should watch somepoint quickly.”

Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel concerns as the senior reporter for Air Force Times. He originates from an Air Force family members, and his investigative reports have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has actually travebrought about the Middle East to cover Air Force operations versus the Islamic State.

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