Integrated Training Centre
The Lightning Integrated Training Centre (ITC) combines an Academic Training Centre (ATC), for all Lightning ground trades, and a Pilot Training Centre (PTC), and is currently one of only 2 such facilities within the Lightning Programme, with the other being in Australia.
Located on the south side of the airfield, adjacent to 01 Threshold of Runway 01/19, the ITC now provides all training for UK Lightning personnel; this had previously been provided in the USA at Eglin AFB.
Having spent 8 months operating out of various temporary accommodations around the Station, the ITC staff started moving into the brand new, purpose-built building in the first week of October. The instructional staff started delivering training on the 15th October and within 2 weeks, the ITC was operating at its maximum academic capacity. In order to meet 617 Sqn pilot demand, the Full Mission Simulators (FMS) began operations from the outset.
The PTC houses the 4 FMS which can be linked together to provide up to a 4-ship formation. The PTC can also house up to 2 Deployable Mission Rehearsal Trainers (DMRT); these will be deployed to DOBs in support of Lightning operations and later this year will be embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth to support embarked Lightning aircraft.
As well as high tech classrooms, the ATC element of the building employs an excellent suite of synthetic training aids and a maintenance hall/hangar to support training for all ground trades employed on Lightning. The following synthetic training aids/devices are housed within the maintenance hangar, with the exception of the ASMTs and OML Lab which are specialist classrooms:
Ejection Seat Maintenance Trainer (ESMT). Used to train both groundcrew and aircrew in the aircraft escape system. It comprises a representative aircraft fuselage, a stand-alone ejection seat and a canopy (incl stand) used for Flexible Linear Shape Charge training; this is also supported by a separate workshop area. As well as facilitating ejection seat remove and install training, the ESMT also provides training for canopy removal and is now being utilised by crash crews to practice pilot removal.
Weapon Load Trainer (WLT). This device is full size mock-up aircraft used for weapon load training and some maintenance training concerning the weapon bay doors and operating the Integrated Power Package (APU on Tornado). Prime use is in providing a fully representative device for practising weapon loading of UK weapons inventory (PWIV, AMRAAM and ASRAAM). It negates the need for utilising real aircraft.
Outer Mould Line (OML) Laboratory. The OML Lab provides a workshop environment that students can learn the various techniques and repairs that are required to preserve the health of the aircraft’s Low Observable (LO) characteristics which is now a responsibility of all aircraft maintenance trades, including the armourers.
Aircraft System Maintenance Trainer (ASMT)(x2). The ASMTs are synthetic procedural trainers used to deliver virtual training tasks, teaching maintainers the correct process and procedure on component removal, installation and functional testing. Each system includes 12 workstations and an instructor operating console (IOS), which allows the instructor to monitor student progress and provide individual feedback through the use of headsets.
Lift Fan Clutch Removal and Installation Trainer (LFCR&IT). This is a STOVL variant unique device, used to train the removal and installation of the lift fan clutch in order to provide skill based training for mechanical trade personnel.
Engine Module Assembly and Disassembly Trainer (EMA&DT). This device is a representative F135 engine used to train personnel in the separation of the power modules to enable first line maintenance of the F135. This device is not yet installed but will be delivered shortly.
To date, the ITC has delivered 3 Engineering Managers, 1 Pilot Flight Equipment (TG13), 1 Mechanical, 1 Avionics, 1 Weapons, 2 ALIS Admin Courses (TG4/CIS) and we are on our 3rd batch of AMM/AETs. The future is going to only get busier as we further develop and enhance our courseware and content as well as introducing new courses for Support Equipment maintainers (TG5) and Mission Support Personnel (TG9).
In the 3 months that the ITC has been operating, we have trained 152 students versus 433 UK students trained over 5 years at Eglin AFB. From the 1 July 2019, the ITC will start delivering pilot conversion courses.
The stand-up of 207 Sqn (adjacent to ITC) this summer, as the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), will allow us to further enhance our hands-on training element with immediate access to live aircraft, thus employing the ‘schoolhouse’ concept.
Sherrie – please ensure the external building image is used, I don’t mind which other images make it, whatever fits for you.