Offutt Goes Electronic

Pilots and navigators at Offutt AFB, Neb., are replacing their traditional flight bags with iPads. Instead of carrying around as much as 250 pounds of paper manuals with detailed safety procedures and operating instructions, Offutt airmen will now have electronic access to updated records on their touch screens. The change will also save time and money required to print out new manuals on paper and will bring new operational efficiencies as well. For instance, the iPads will allow aircrew to access real-time information from the installation’s radar system without communicating with the operations office or the tower. While many flight lines have already made the transition from paper to electronic records, the need to safeguard Offutt’s sensitive ISR mission has slowed its progress in this area. Without specifying details, the Air Force said that Offutt “was able to find solutions to the security concerns.”