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VR Future is Ready Now

U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Masaitis, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, experiences an MC-130J Commando II aircraft virtual reality maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Masaitis and other wing leaders learned how fully functioning VR programs are ready to roll out to squadrons and how they can assimilate the technology into current and future operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Masaitis, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, experiences an MC-130J Commando II aircraft virtual reality maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Masaitis and other wing leaders learned how fully functioning VR programs are ready to roll out to squadrons and how they can assimilate the technology into current and future operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Burns, 20th Special Operations Squadron CV-22 Osprey pilot, and U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Masaitis, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, experience an MC-130J Commando II aircraft virtual reality maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Event coordinators introduced Cannon leaders to acquisition contractors and discussed how to get fully operational training programs assimilated into squadrons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Burns, 20th Special Operations Squadron CV-22 Osprey pilot, and U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Masaitis, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, experience an MC-130J Commando II aircraft virtual reality maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Event coordinators introduced Cannon leaders to acquisition contractors and discussed how to get fully operational training programs assimilated into squadrons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Cannon Commandos experience a virtual reality aircraft maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. AETC created the ITP in part to streamline the acquisition process, reducing the time and cost needed for wings to roll out technology and begin training Airmen, enhancing their competitive edge during an age of accelerated change. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Cannon Commandos experience a virtual reality aircraft maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. AETC created the ITP in part to streamline the acquisition process, reducing the time and cost needed for wings to roll out technology and begin training Airmen, enhancing their competitive edge during an age of accelerated change. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew experiences an MC-130J Commando II virtual reality maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. ITP team members from around the Air Force showed event attendees how VR training programs have already benefitted other squadrons and are ready for rapid acquisition and assimilation into current aircraft maintenance operations. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft/photo manipulated for operational security)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew experiences an MC-130J Commando II virtual reality maintenance training program during an Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform demonstration April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. ITP team members from around the Air Force showed event attendees how VR training programs have already benefitted other squadrons and are ready for rapid acquisition and assimilation into current aircraft maintenance operations. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft/photo manipulated for operational security)

Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform team members conduct a virtual reality training product demonstration for leaders of the 27th Special Operations Wing April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The ITP demonstration showed Cannon Commandos that the aircraft maintenance VR training programs have already benefitted other U.S. Air Force Wings and are ready to roll out for a variety of air frames, some of which Air Force Special Operations Command already utilizes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Air Education and Training Command Integrated Technology Platform team members conduct a virtual reality training product demonstration for leaders of the 27th Special Operations Wing April 15, 2021, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The ITP demonstration showed Cannon Commandos that the aircraft maintenance VR training programs have already benefitted other U.S. Air Force Wings and are ready to roll out for a variety of air frames, some of which Air Force Special Operations Command already utilizes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Airmen of the 27th Special Operations Wing got a glimpse of the future when the U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Integrated Technology Platform (ITP) team demonstrated a complete virtual reality training program for the MC-130J Commando II aircraft April 16, 2021.

Since the ITP’s inception in 2019, Airmen, contractors and partners achieved a fully operational VR acquisition and roll-out plan enabling wings across all major commands to assimilate new technology into their units. Col. Robert Masaitis, 27 SOW commander, is ready to take the next step.

“It has come a long way since the first one I saw a few years ago, and nobody has to convince me this is what we need,” Masaitis stated. “I am looking for funding and would love to roll it out across the wing. I would do it tomorrow if I could.”

ITP team members from around the Air Force showed 27 SOW leaders VR implementation at other bases and how to attain programs as soon as possible.

“A lot of what ITP represents is acquisition reform, and we want to get the word out that not only is there a great VR product, but we have this supremely easy process establish this technology into squadrons right now,” said Master Sgt. Dace, ITP event coordinator.

Instead of squadrons having to request funds from the wing or their major command, now they can send training requirements to the ITP office which has the ability to streamline the contract process for any unit.

“Our authority to operate allows any unit to come to us with their program requirements and we can fulfill that request within four weeks, a process that normally takes six to eight months,” said Masoud Rasti, ITP program manager from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. “This program has zero overhead cost because it is all government owned and operated.”

With zero overhead costs or commitments to timed contracts and recurring subscriptions, squadrons can put advanced technology into the hands of Airmen, giving them a competitive advantage over units that rely on slower and more costly training models.

“Our Airmen can get into a VR scenario without worrying about breaking a multi-million-dollar aircraft, perform a multitude of virtual tasks as many times as they want, and then have the confidence and knowledge to perform maintenance on real aircraft,” said Dace.

From nothing to a fully realized training program in just two years, ITP teams enable decision makers to get on board and acquire technology efficiently and rapidly.

“If you look at units such as Little Rock, Dyess and Lackland Air Force Bases, they are already having classes graduate with higher scores in less time and at lower cost,” said John Brooks, CEO of Mass Virtual, program developer partnered with AETC. “We’ve integrated learning and asset management systems that will support the Air Force in any future distribution methods without any barriers, and now we are seeing an explosive growth of this Integrated Technology Platform.”

ITP coordinators such as Master Sgt. Dace look forward to taking advantage of the technological growth and enhancing the capabilities of squadrons across the Air Force.

“My favorite thing about this entire innovation process is that actual reform is happening now, and it is beneficial for us to take advantage of this technology, enhance training capabilities and make it more desirable for Airmen,” said Dace.

“These programs are relevant to all aspects of the Air Force, not just maintenance and aviation,” he added. “The opportunities and advantages of the ITP are endless.”