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Technology conference powers down

by Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons
Air Force News Agency

12/4/2007 - ORLANDO, Fla. (AFPN) -- More than 500 exhibitors set up various displays to show off their cutting-edge technology to American military members the last week of November at the Interservice Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference at the Orange County Convention Center here.

The latest in simulation and virtual reality from all over the world merge each year at this conference, the largest technology exhibition of its kind anywhere.

"The goal of the conference is to share with (military and industry) and other government agencies the types of expertise that is out there in modeling and simulation from learning how to fly an airplane to driving a tank (and responding to) emergency situations and medical situations," said June Taylor, the director of the 677th Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 

Officials from the 677th AESG helped sponsor this year's conference. Together, military and industry professionals demonstrated how simulation technology is rapidly becoming indispensable to human learning for all situations. 

Military and industry leaders are also learning from each other. Events such as natural or man-made disasters can be predicted in a simulation and modeled in advance. Authorities can now learn from the virtual world how best to plan for the real thing.

Many Airmen at the conference were interested in the latest advances in airplane simulation.

"The technology is way ahead of what we are using right now," said Capt. Matt Poisson, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot at Luke AFB, Ariz. "I was checking out the avionics usage and the systems they have to see how they integrate in the future. Currently, we have several different displays that you have to look at individually. In the future, so much information will be displayed to you. It will all be sensor management for the pilot."

Simulators also offer very valuable training opportunities for today's Air Force pilots who continually prepare to support America's ongoing war effort.

"There are things an aircrew can do in simulators that they absolutely cannot do in the airplane. It is very difficult to train an engine out scenario and have the pilot come back alive unless it is in a simulated environment," Ms. Taylor said.

The conference is in its 29th year. This year's theme was "Maintaining the Edge -- Transforming the Force." 

The information shared between military, industry, contractors and countries will quickly get to its main objective -- the warfighter, Ms. Taylor said. "The technology is already out there on the battlefield and the cutting-edge technology will be there in the near future."

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