The state-of-the-art training devices coming online for the Joint Strike Fighter aren’t just for pilots. The airmen, sailors, and marines who will maintain the new multirole F-35 are getting the high-tech treatment, as well. A critical component of the program to provide full mission simulation is training for the maintainers, according to Lockheed Martin’s JoAnne Puglisi, the training program team leader. The aircraft systems maintenance trainer provides the overall training for maintenance, but two F-35 JSF maintainer functions are getting their own full training systems—the weapons loading trainer and the ejection systems maintenance trainer. Each system will feature a “maintenance task rehearsal” program that allows maintainers realistically to simulate—on a desktop or worktable—repairs and upkeep to the fighter. According to Puglisi, building a training environment for maintainers is more challenging than for pilots. Developing avionics simulators for operators does not have the complexity of trying to develop hardware and software to replicate all the JSF components that maintainers must master. —Marc Schanz
Robins Air Force Base, Ga., has completed two environmental reviews, clearing the way for new construction to support the bases four new missions sets, which will replace the E-8 Joint STARS mission that has defined the base for decades.