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Sheppard | The 82d TRSS delivers PSRE trainers to three field training detachments

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82d Training Wing

The 82d Training Support Squadron Trainer Development group recently delivered propulsion system rocket engine maintenance trainers to field training detachments at F.E. Warren, Malmstrom and Minot Air Force Bases. The project repurposed $900 thousand in demilitarized intercontinental ballistic missile parts that were slated for destruction and reduces impact to mission caused by taking assets offline for training.

Master Sgt. Daniel Ashcroft, ICBM Field Training Manager, projects the PSRE trainers will save 120 training hours annually by limiting travel time between the base and a launch facility and allowing group training that is impossible within the confines of the missile sites.

“When they complete this training out at a launch facility, in order to actually get access to this piece of equipment, they actually have to go into a bunker,” he said.  “There’s a bucket-type elevator that can only fit two personnel. So, you have an instructor and a student. It’s one-on-one instruction versus having the trainer inside the building, with instructor and the entire class around.”

Patrick Gilbert, 82d TRSS Project Manager, explained the progression of the project from inception to functional trainer. Initially, the trainer was going to be a mock-up that was fabricated to simulate a PSRE. However, the scarcity of parts created issues.

 “We were trying to make what we were calling a ‘trash can trainer,’” Gilbert said. “What they really wanted was something like this, but as we were trying to replicate it, we kept running into roadblocks.”

Sourcing the PSRE parts was only the beginning of the project, though.

The needs of the students in a training environment are always at the forefront for the team at the 82d TRSS. Engineer Michael Allen, who designed the stand for the PSRE trainers, traveled to Hill AFB to assess the PSRE and collaborated with subject matter experts to design a trainer that supports multiple core training objectives. He explained that having the spent equipment is a boon for students, who have increased hands-on training instruction in job functions like cork repair and painting.

Ashcroft agrees.

“Instead of having an abstract mock-up that roughly represents a portion of what a technician will be working on, they now have a realistic piece of equipment that was demilitarized because it was test fired,” he said. “It was serving a real purpose and through the demilitarizing process it was brought here. Now the students have a real asset they can interact with in a way you can’t with a mock-up.”

For Master Sgt. Carey Stevenson, Curriculum Manager, the PSRE trainers provide vital competency-based learning for ICBM technicians that enhances mission readiness.

“I think the overall end state would be everyone wants a qualified technician,” he said. “They want them to be able to complete training and go out and turn wrenches and I feel like this is just one step closer to getting to that goal.” 

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