CAE receives authorization certificate for KC-135 aircrew training system program

TAMPA, Fla. CAE USA officials received Authorization to Operate (ATO) on the U.S. Air Force's Distributed Training Center Network (DTCN) under the KC-135 Aircrew Training System (ATS) program. The first KC-135 operational flight trainer (OFT) to receive the ATO is located at Scott Air Force Base (AFB).

The certificate, obtained by 's team, allows the simulator systems to operate on the DTCN. Additional KC-135 ATS sites, including March Air Reserve Base (ARB), Fairchild AFB, Grissom ARB, and MacDill AFB, are expected to transition onto the DTCN in the 2017-2018 timeframe, officials say.

Receiving the Authorization to Operate on the DTCN means that KC-135 aircrew training devices can be networked and connected to other Mobility Air Force (MAF) platforms so that the USAF can conduct live-virtual-constructive (LVC) training on a secure and classified .

The KC-135 Stratotanker provides aerial refuelling capabilities for the Air Force. The aircrew training devices support this mission and help train more than 3,500 KC-135 aircrews annually.

USA is the prime contractor on the KC-135 ATS program and began efforts more than a year ago to connect the KC-135 simulator fleet to a virtual network where they can train with other aircrews in simulators representing various platforms to provide virtual air refuelling.

"Acquiring the Authority to Operate was a tough challenge and a significant engineering milestone," says Clifford Sanchez, U.S. Air Force KC-135 Aircrew Training System Manager. "We look forward to the fast-approaching capability to conduct virtual air refuelling across a network. The ability to conduct persistent and realistic virtual air refuelling training in a distributed mission operations environment enhances our training capability and helps us cost-effectively maintain proficiency and readiness."

CAE USA worked with the Air Force officials to ensure the KC-135 OFT met the required U.S. Department of Defense risk management framework and cybersecurity standards. Now, the company and the Air Force are in the process of transitioning additional KC-135 aircrew training devices so that the USAF will have the ability to conduct more virtual training over the DTCN.

Ray Duquette, President and General Manager, CAE USA says, "The upgrades we are making to the KC-135 aircrew training devices combined with rigorous risk management and cybersecurity implementation will help ensure the integrity and availability of having the KC-135 play a key role in live-virtual-constructive training exercises."

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