Airmen from Keesler AFB, Miss., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif., have joined forces to create an ICBM maintenance virtual trainer—Air Education and Training Command’s top nuclear training priority—for use in courses at Vandenberg. Members of Keesler’s 81st Training Support Squadron’s simware section and Vandy’s 532nd Training Squadron are involved in the project. “IMVT addresses certain training shortcomings by providing critical training instruction [for] Vandenberg’s missile maintenance officer course,” said Ronald Washburn, 81st TRSS simware development section chief. Final delivery is scheduled for late 2012, but the two units are making elements of IMVT, such as a voice-over-Internet-protocol telephone system, simulated radio, and digital clocks, available beforehand. This new training resource is expected to cost about $800,000, much less than the $3.6 million estimate had a civilian contractor supplied it. (Keesler report by Susan Griggs)
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.