The Air Mobility Command (AMC) selected MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida and Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington as the relocation sites for the next two KC-135 Stratotanker pilot flight simulators. CAE is supporting the relocation of these devices as the prime contractor responsible for the KC-135 Aircrew Training System program. The simulator slated for MacDill was moved to CAE’s facility in Tampa plant this spring will be installed when MacDill’s additional sim bay is complete in 2020. The OFT for Fairchild is currently at Altus AFB; it’s relocation date is still to be determined.
KC-135 pilot flight simulators, also known as Operations Flight Trainers or OFTs, give pilots a high-fidelity, full-motion environment that enables realistic flying training and emergency procedure practice as well as networked distributed mission operations capability.
The first three simulators were relocated to Pittsburgh and Rickenbacker Air National Guard bases and to Altus Air Force Base to address formal student training requirements.
The Air Force operates 19 full-motion KC-135 OFTs distributed across 12 of the 30 Active Duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve KC-135 bases and Air Education and Training Command's KC-135 Formal Training Unit. The relocation of these last two simulators is expected to maximize simulator access across the mobility enterprise. Since the KC-135 fleet is set to retain 300 of its 396 aircraft over the next decade, all 19 OFTs will be needed in order to ensure robust support to aircrew training requirements.