New training simulator heads to Columbus Published March 10, 2022 By Second Lieutenant Peyton Craven 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- Columbus AFB personnel were treated to a sneak peek experience with Boeing’s newest training aircraft simulator at the Air Force Association’s Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida March 4th, 2022. The symposium is a significant professional development event for the U.S. Air Force and Space Force and focuses on the critical concerns and challenges of joint warfare across the diverse areas of responsibility for the Department of Defense. Attendees received briefings and development seminars from Air and Space Force senior leaders, as well as defense industry partners. A technology expo that occurred in conjunction with the symposium highlighted technological innovations by defense industry partners. Boeing was a featured partner at the expo showcasing their new T-7A aircraft simulator. The T-7A is the eventual successor to the T-38 aircraft that is currently used to train student pilots on the fundamentals of fighter tactics. Columbus AFB is primed to be one of the first Undergraduate Pilot Training base that receives the T-7A. Chief Master Sergeant Christopher Ottenwess, 14th Operations Group senior enlisted leader, spoke on the evolving role of training simulators like the one featured at the Warfare Symposium. “As the new simulators come on, it just further prepares [student pilots] for 5th-gen fighters as we continue to train world class pilots”, Ottenwess said. The 14th Operations Group conducts all flight operations at Columbus AFB and will be responsible for fielding the new simulator when it officially arrives to the base for training. “These simulators are incredibly important to pilot training because that’s where pilots learn the basics of flight while avoiding wear and tear on the actual aircraft”, Ottenwess said. Columbus AFB Airmen that attended the expo were given a chance to experience the new Bowing T-7A flight simulator. “The VR headset quality is getting much better. This is more accurate to what the students will actually see in the cockpit,” 1st Lieutenant Justin Treinish, a T-38 instructor pilot assigned to the 50th Flying Training Squadron said. “The gloves and hand tracking features make it feel more like the actual jet.” Boeing’s next stop with the simulator will be Columbus AFB during the 2022 Wings Over Columbus Airshow and STEM Expo. Attendees of the airshow and STEM expo will have the opportunity to get hands-on with the simulator and get a sneak peek at the future of pilot training in the Air Force.