Boom in a Box

Air Mobility Command christened its first new KC-135 refueling boom trainer in a ceremony at McConnell AFB, Kan. Using the boom operator weapons system trainer, instructors can “recreate training actions for boom operators without spending money on fuel, maintenance, or flying hours,” said Mike Adams, a training contractor at McConnell. “It also allows us to focus on various student-qualification requirements, emergency procedures, and other pre-deployment actions” in a focused environment, he added. Overall, AMC intends to field 10 of these trainers across its KC-135 bases to reduce its training costs. Compared to a typical eight-hour KC-135 sortie, which costs upwards of $49,000, the simulator costs roughly $600 an hour, according to command officials. “The BOWST represents our continued commitment to using precious resources in order to enhance training, while simultaneously cutting costs,” summed Col. Ricky Rupp, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander, during the Jan. 9 ribbon cutting. (McConnell report by A1C Armando A. Schwier-Morales)