TECH SA: Air Force pilots using new technology to enhance their skills

PIT NEXT allows student to learn flying techniques

SAN ANTONIO – Air Force instructor pilots at JBSA-Randolph are learning skills using new technology. 

As part of GMSA at 9's series "Tech SA," we went behind the scenes at JBSA-Randolph to see their latest technology. 

Instead of learning from classroom PowerPoints and lectures, students are studying 3D video programs.

The pilot instructor training, also known as PIT NEXT, allows student to learn flying skills. 

"This is a 3D video, so it's a VR 360 degree video that we have shot (with) VR camera. (What) It allows us to do is play it back for them," Lt. Col. Matthew Strohmeyer, 560th Flying Training Squadron Commander, Randolph Air Force Base, said. 

The VR systems were implemented a few weeks ago and have monitors, goggles and a controller.

"With this, (what) they will be able to do is allow those students to get to the aircraft with far more experience, far more proficiency, and they would be able to see the environment they operate in instead of receiving a PowerPoint briefing," Strohmeyer said. 


One full VR system costs about $4,000.

"We can get about 300 of these systems for the cost it would take us to get a traditional simulator system," Strohmeyer said. 

He said it's not just about utilizing cutting-edge technology, it's about having the best pilots to protect our country. 

"The Air Force is really focusing on how can we ensure that we maintain (the) competitive advantage to be able to provide the air superiority and the air power for America for any future conflict that we might find ourselves in," Strohmeyer said. 

About the Author: