Simulators are known to be an accessible, economic and lifesaving training tool, which allows for optimal instruction and simulation of extreme scenarios. In order to maintain readiness and preparedness, Aerial Defense Combatants train via simulators which simulate the IAF’s operational interception systems
The simulator center positioned in the Aerial Defense Academy in the Negev desert currently includes a simulator for every operational interception system that the Aerial Defense Division operates. The first simulator, which was inaugurated in 2012, was an “Iron Dome” simulator and this month, the ribbon of a new “David’s Sling” Simulator was cut, a large step towards the operational integration of the system. “An Aerial Defense Combatants meets the simulator for the first time in his professional training, right after completing the infantry training phase”, said Maj. Maayan Baruch, the former commander of the simulator center. “In the basic stage, each cadet trains on the simulator for a few hours”.
It was decided to establish the simulator center in 2014. “The simulators contribute to the combatants’ deep understanding of the studied material”, explained Maj. Baruch. “In the past, the training was performed on operational weapons systems taken off ready alert for the purpose of the training. Today, thanks to the simulators that are designed for training and instruction, the systems remain available and the cadets receive a neutral and quiet environment. They receive organized theoretical lessons broadcasted on the screens and experience activity with the same software that they will use on the battery”.
In addition to the accessibility of the simulators, they also bear a clear economic advantage. “Before the ‘Patriot’ simulator was established, we would fly abroad to train. Today, it is positioned in the Aerial Defense Academy”.
Personal Interception Training
The trainees in the Aerial Defense Simulator Center change every day. “We train all kinds of different courses that come to the simulator as part of the completion of their qualifications and each has different characteristics”, shared CRPL. Ahinoam Burstein, a “David’s Sling” Simulator Instructor. “In training, the trainees are required to deal with different degrees of difficulty and intercept according to certain rules and considerations”.
Throughout the training session, different fields are tested: the cadets’ decision making ability, their alertness, attention to details and communication. “A number of simulations are usually necessary to succeed in the more difficult scenarios, in the end there is a qualification scenario at the maximum difficulty level that tests all of the required skills”.
In the Future: A Connected Simulator Center
The Aerial Defense Division’s “Preparing for the Future” Plan, which will begin at the end of the year, emphasizes the concept of the “complete combatant”. In accordance with this concept, Aerial Defense Combatants will be familiar with all of the systems in the division and not just the one that they will operate. This concept stems from the understanding that integration between the systems is an important component in the modern interception mission.
In the future, an Instruction and Operational Training Center will be established that will deal with connectivity via connected simulators. “We want to train our combatants exactly like they will fight and the simulators, that even look like the systems in the field, answer this exact need”, stated Maj. Baruch. “In our vision, the center will have connected simulators of all of the systems, which will allow us to simulate a scenario mutual to all of them, brief and debrief together in one place”.
Photography: Adi Abu