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Training at a glance: Orthotics program

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, (left) a student in the orthotics program, and Lawrence New, (right) a 59th Medical Wing orthotist and orthotics instructor, use plaster to create a mold for a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, (center), is also a student in the orthotics program and served as the patient for the lesson. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, (left) a student in the orthotics program, and Lawrence New, (right) a 59th Medical Wing orthotist and orthotics instructor, use plaster to create a mold for a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, (center), is also a student in the orthotics program and served as the patient for the lesson. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, cuts through a plaster mold of a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. As part of his training to become an orthotics technician, Rudd must learn how the process of fabricating various types of orthoses. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, cuts through a plaster mold of a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. As part of his training to become an orthotics technician, Rudd must learn how the process of fabricating various types of orthoses. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, applies plaster to a mock patient to make a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. As part of his training to become an orthotics technician, Rudd must learn how the process of fabricating various types of orthoses. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, applies plaster to a mock patient to make a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. As part of his training to become an orthotics technician, Rudd must learn how the process of fabricating various types of orthoses. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, measures plaster cloth to make a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, measures plaster cloth to make a body jacket orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Lawrence New, a 59th Medical Wing orthotist and orthotics instructor, cuts through a plaster mold at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Lawrence New, a 59th Medical Wing orthotist and orthotics instructor, cuts through a plaster mold at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, bends a piece of metal to use for an orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 19, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, bends a piece of metal to use for an orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 19, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, bends metal for a leg brace at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 19, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, bends metal for a leg brace at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 19, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Leg braces created by former orthotics training students are displayed in the brace shop at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Leg braces created by former orthotics training students are displayed in the brace shop at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, smooths the surfaces of mold for a foot orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, smooths the surfaces of mold for a foot orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, shaves the excess plastic off a foot orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)
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Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, shaves the excess plastic off a foot orthoses at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, works on a foot mold at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)
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Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rivera, a student in the orthotics program, works on a foot mold at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, checks to see if the plastic for a foot orthoses has settled at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)
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Staff Sgt. Devin Rudd, a student in the orthotics program, checks to see if the plastic for a foot orthoses has settled at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Air Force's only orthotics training program is conducted at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Established in the 1970s, the program is dedicated to providing the highest level of training and graduating world-class orthotics technicians. The course is accredited by the Community College of the Air Force and spans seven months, with 1,160 dedicated training hours. A key component of the program is the hands-on experience students gain. Working with various tools and materials such as plaster, metal, plastic and leather, helps students  develop the skills and techniques to fabricate orthoses. Upon graduation, the Airmen go back into the operational Air Force as fully-qualified orthotics technicians.
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