Compass Call System Trainer Now Online

A new flight deck simulator for EC-130 Compass Call aircrews is operational after five years of development, 55th Wing officials announced recently. The $35 million weapon system trainer, based at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., allows the 55th Electronic Combat Group to maintain readiness and currency, while reducing reliance on live fly training as the ECG’s capabilities are in demand around the world, said Col. Marty Reynolds, the 55th Wing commander. The new trainer has been in development since 2010, and construction of the facility began in 2012. The WST went online for the first time in March and was declared fully operational in June. Previously, crews and maintainers had to make sure one of the group’s 14 EC-130s was available for training, or airmen would have to travel to JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., to fly in another simulator, which had a dissimilar cockpit, different flight profiles, and instructional differences with the Compass Call curriculum, said Lt. Col. Dean Balstad, the 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron assistant director of operations. The cost of flying an EC-130 for a six-hour training mission is $26,400, while six hours in the WST is $7,800, according to 55th Wing officials.