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Maj Gen Lyon's visit
Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, Air Combat Command director of operations, is shown the F-22 Raptor Hypoxia Familiarization Trainer at Detachment 1, a tenant unit at Luke. Lyon visited the detachment on March 5 to recognize them for designing a critical modification to the F-22’s Emergency Oxygen System handle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Tristan Hinderliter)
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ACC 2-star recognizes Det 1 for F-22 modification

Posted 3/7/2012   Updated 3/7/2012 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

3/7/2012 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The Air Combat Command director of operations visited a detachment at Luke on Monday to recognize the unit for designing an important safety feature for the F-22 Raptor.

"This is really an important thing you have done for the Air Force and the F-22 fleet," Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, ACC director of operations, told leadership at Detachment 1, ACC Training Support Squadron, a tenant unit at Luke.

The modification is to the F-22's Emergency Oxygen System handle, which makes it easier for the pilot to access. Det 1 model makers Floyd Slinker and Terry Waugh designed it.

Approximately 200 handles, which cost $47 apiece to manufacture, have been delivered, including spares. The handles have already been fielded at the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.

"The fact that this detachment was able to do this quickly, cheaply and effectively, and get it into the hands of our aircrews shows them the Air Force is involved and working to get the F-22 recommendations in place as quickly as possible," Lyon said. "I wanted to come by today and thank the folks who came up with the idea, designed it, programmed it, machined it, mailed it, paid for it, and got it out there in a very rapid manner. I'm very proud of the unit for what they've done."

The handle was one of the F-22 components identified by a Scientific Advisory Board, which studied safety issues on the jet, as one of the critical items to be fixed. The SAB, an independent board working under the direction of the Air Force, investigated the oxygen systems in the jet after months of problems with the main and backup systems.

"The handle provides the pilot much easier access to the handle, provides an easier grip, especially when wearing cold weather gear, and allows the pilot to apply more leverage to the activation ring," said Lt. Col. Beachel Curtis, Det 1 commander.

Det 1 is the sole trainer fabrication organization within ACC. The unit, comprised of one active-duty member and 44 civilians, is tasked with designing, building and maintaining aircrew training devices, training aids and computer-based training products for the Combat Air Forces.

The detachment works closely with its customers to determine training requirements. Their products are used for, among other things, basic cockpit familiarization, weapons system procedures, egress procedures, hypoxia familiarization and emergency procedures.

"Every Airman flying our combat aircraft, from the A-10 to the U-2, used a Det 1 product during their training," Curtis said.

Most of the detachment's customers are ACC Formal Training Units that conduct weapons system training.

Some of their computer-based training products, however, have been adopted for wider audiences. Their Airfield Driver training program, for instance, is used Air Force wide to train anyone who drives on the flightline, and the detachment's Irregular Warfare training program has been used by more than 5,000 Airmen from various career fields who have deployed in support of contingency operations.

"We have one of the most dedicated and creative work forces in the Air Force," Curtis said of the detachment. "They are masters at replicating aircraft systems and devising creative and cost-effective ways to provide the same look and feel of the actual weapon system."

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