In the last week of October, NATO AWACS operators conducted training missions with two F/A-18 fighter aircraft.
This is part of normal training, however, for this event the missions were run in simulators based in Geilenkirchen (DEU) and the Warrior Preparation Center (WPC), Einsiedlerhof (DEU), connected over CFBLNet.
As nations cut back heavily on their live flying programs, the NCI Agency supports NATO AWACS in gradually developing a Mission Training through Distributed Simulation (MTDS) capability to fulfil their training requirements. According to the participants, the setup provided excellent training, in particular because the F/A-18s were flown by an actual fighter pilot, as opposed to simulator drivers that role-play as fighter pilots for local simulator training. The missions were part of a collaborative proof of concept between NATO AWACS and WPC. Next steps are connections to the AWACS component in Waddington (GBR) and the Distributed Training Operations Center (DTOC) in Des Moines, IA (USA), with continued support of the NCI Agency.