Ramstein Airmen develop new training method with AFCEC validation

  • Published
  • By Susan H. Lawson
  • AFCEC Public Affairs
Airmen of the civil engineer electrical team at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, recently developed an innovative training method to tackle deficiencies by designing and constructing an electrical systems training simulator.

Although similar trainers are used at other electrical shops worldwide, the Electrical Systems Trainer at Ramstein focuses on unique electrical systems throughout the base. The training center, located in the electrical section’s facility, includes trainers for: a motor and control, street light maintenance, interior lighting and distribution, airfield ramp lighting and emergency lighting.

“We are hoping this electrical method of training base-specific systems will be used across the Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. Travis Baker, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of electrical systems. “Saving the Air Force money is one result of this and is just the beginning of what lies ahead.”
The simulator was built in 80 man-hours over a period of five days utilizing recycled parts removed from service to provide training to assigned Airmen. “It saved the squadron money in costly replacement parts in order to meet training requirements,” said Baker. The parts, previously destined for removal, now serve a renewed purpose in training military and civilian electricians.

On-the-job training is inherent to any squadron in the Air Force and serving overseas often limits the training opportunities for Airmen based upon the lack of prerequisite training received in technical school for foreign systems.

“Prior to this training simulator, training in the electrical systems section was accomplished ‘on-the-go’ when situations in the field arose that could satisfy job qualification standard requirements,” said Baker. “This made for inconsistent training opportunities on an unpredictable schedule.”

With the training center, technicians in three-to-five level upgrade training are able to accomplish 22 Job Qualification Standard tasks in a safe, controlled environment without fear of injury or potentially seriously impacting mission accomplishment due to unplanned outages.

"These training systems show the force development team Airmen and NCOs are taking their training serious and doing everything they can to better assist Airmen in upgrade training," said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Morgan, electrical force development manager at AFCEC. “They are not only meeting the minimum upgrade training requirements but also honing in on their base-specific and host-nation-specific unique systems. This is an absolute must if Airmen intend to fully contribute to the mission while assigned to an overseas base.”

In technical school, Airmen are trained to work on electrical systems based on American wiring standards. The Electrical Systems Trainer is based on European/German Electrical Systems built for situations encountered at Ramstein versus bases in the United States.

“If this base-specific training method could be used where systems differ from those found at tech school, Airmen would provide greater value to their base by getting up to speed quicker and more competently,” said Col. Timothy Dodge, director of the AFCEC Operations Directorate. “This concept can also be applied at (stateside) bases as a refresher to what Airmen learned at tech school.”