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    Revolutionary training device installed for IqAF

    Revolutionary training device installed for IqAF

    Photo By Senior Master Sgt. Randy Redman | Brig. Gen. Anthony Rock, 321st Air Expeditionary Wing commander and Iraq Training and...... read more read more

    A team of aerospace physiologists from several U.S. Air Force installations are here to help the Iraqi Air Force install and train with its newest piece of training equipment. The team held a demonstration, March 14, to showcase how this device will assist in training, as well as save time and money in the years to come.

    The reduced oxygen breathing device-second generation, or ROBD2, was invented and patented by the U.S. Navy. According to the Naval Medical Research Center, the ROBD2 dilutes the oxygen present in air to concentrations below 21 percent by mixing the air with nitrogen. The purpose of this dilution is to simulate the reduced oxygen concentration available as one ascends in altitude.

    Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Flecker, 7th Aeromedical Squadron aerospace operational physiology technician, is here on a temporary deployment from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. She said the newly-developed system is designed to take the place of the altitude chamber for refresher training.

    “This machine reduces the risk of decompression sickness because it doesn’t affect the entire body,” said Flecker, who is originally from Manchester, N.H. She added that all pilots and aircrew members will continue to go to an actual altitude chamber for initial training in order to fully understand what can happen to a pilot during emergency situations.

    The ROBD2 is unique and different from previous devices in that it uses sophisticated gas regulating devices known as mass flow controllers. The ROBD2 also employs a gas extraction device as an independent component of the system that can separate nitrogen gas from air for use in the device.

    Currently the Air Force, Navy and Army use the ROBD2 for refresher training in various configurations. The device here at New Al-Muthana Air Base is connected to commercially available flight simulator software and has multiple aircraft already loaded in the system, such as the T-6 Texan, C-130 Hercules and King Air 350. It is possible to download additional aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, if the need arises.

    The U.S. Air Force was able to procure two of the devices for use by the IqAF. The first device will remain here at NAMAB, while the second device will be installed at Tikrit, Iraq, to aid with training there. Since neither pilots nor aircrew will have to travel to the IqAF altitude chamber for refresher training every five years, they estimate the TDY savings per member to be roughly $4,000.

    Lt. Col. Brenda Cook, Air Education & Training Command A-3 aerospace physiologist from Randolph AFB, Texas, and Tech. Sgt. Pierre Nelson, Air Force Global Strike Command aerospace operational physiology technician from Barksdale AFB, La., make up the rest of the team. Their training over the recent weeks has brought the Iraqi air force’s flight surgeon and one nurse up to speed on the ROBD2. The Iraqi flight surgeon said he is happy because this the very first piece of equipment in place at the new IqAF Aeromedical Center at NAMAB.

    Although he does acknowledge there will be challenges ahead, such as troubleshooting the ROBD2 should glitches occur due to lack of experience with the system. He is also concerned about purchasing the necessary gasses because there is low market availability. Despite those challenges, the future looks promising thanks to unanimous positive feedback.

    After the demonstration Monday, Brig. Gen. Anthony Rock, 321st Air Expeditionary Wing commander and Iraq Training and Advisory Mission-Air director, said he expected this equipment would save money and lives.

    “I am convinced this equipment will save lives,” Rock said. “That it will ensure a child will grow up with a father, and it will ensure that Iraqi aviation resources are used wisely.”



    Date Taken: 03.16.2011
    Date Posted: 03.16.2011 09:04
    Story ID: 67163
    Location: IQ

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