C-17 Simulator Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Col. Richard Robichaud, 167th Operations Group commander, assists Rodney Shrader, director of Air Force programs with L-3 Link Simulation and Training, with the unveiling of a framed print presented to the 167th Airlift Wing during the C-17 simulator training facility ribbon cutting ceremony, Sept. 24.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle/Released)

Col. Richard Robichaud, 167th Operations Group commander, assists Rodney Shrader, director of Air Force programs with L-3 Link Simulation and Training, with the unveiling of a framed print presented to the 167th Airlift Wing during the C-17 simulator training facility ribbon cutting ceremony, Sept. 24.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle/Released)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The 167th Airlift Wing held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the C-17 Simulator Training Facility on base, Sept. 24.

The C-17 simulator at the 167th is the 15th training center operated by L-3 Link, according to Lenny Genna, president of L-3 Link.

During the opening ceremony, 167th Operations Group Commander, Col. Richard M. Robichaud, spoke on behalf of the West Virginia Air National Guard about the additional value of the new C-17 simulator in regard to C-17 aircrew training.

John Zazworsky, the L-3 Communications Corp. C-17 training systems site manager and pilot instructor here, describes the simulator as very realistic.

"During initial qualification training, pilots spend the large majority of their training time in the sim, with just a few flights before taking their check ride in the aircraft. I think most pilots are impressed with just how much the simulator feels like the real aircraft," he said.

Rod Shrader, Director for Air Force Programs for L-3 Link, also made comments during the opening ceremonies in regard to L-3's ability to deliver classroom instruction and simulator training at the 167th.

Those who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony had the opportunity to experience first-hand how life like the C-17 simulator is.

Zazworsky said, the ribbon cutting ceremony went very smoothly and the facility was in great condition.

All eight members of the site team has worked together to get the simulator in full operational condition within 30 days of starting in May, while conducting required training for pilots and loadmasters.

"I really appreciate all of the support we've received from multiple base agencies to get all functions of the building working properly," said Zazworsky.