Hudson Valley News
9:04 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

105th Airlift Wing Opens C-17 Training Facility

NYS Senator William Larkin inside C-17 simulator.
Credit WAMC/Allison Dunne

The Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh is now one of 12 locations in the U.S. with a C-17 Simulator Training Facility. 

That’s Lieutenant Colonel Steve Grant speaking from the cockpit of the C-17 Training System. It’s the latest addition to Stewart Air National Guard Base, home of the 105th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard. He says training in such a simulator is important preparation for the strategic airlift mission of the C-17.

Republican State Senator William Larkin, an Army veteran, wanted to have a look, and made his way into the simulator’s cockpit.

He says when air crews from elsewhere eventually come to train In the C-17 simulator at Stewart, the surrounding communities could benefit from dollars spent in stores and restaurants.

Colonel Matthew Godfrey is vice commander of the 105th Airlift Wing.

And that, he says, cuts down on maintenance costs, conserves fuel, and lessens the noise impact on the community. With the C-17 simulator, crews from Stewart no longer have to make the trip to McGuire Air Force Base in Trenton, New Jersey for training. Stewart is now one of 12 U.S. Air Force installations to have the C-17 training system. The only one outside the U.S. is in Australia.

Dan Kelly is vice president of L-3 Link Simulation and Training, the prime contractor for the U.S. Air Force’s C-17 training program. He says Stewart is one of the smaller installations to have the simulator and is the second Air National Guard installation. He notes the C-17 training program is the largest training program in the Air Force.

Scott Langman, senior program manager for the C-17 training system says L-3 will be training all the crew members with the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart, supporting 550 simulator training missions a year.

He says the C-17 simulator at Stewart is worth about $30 million.

The first actual C-17 plane arrived to the Stewart base in the summer of 2011, which, as Colonel Godfrey points out, is proof of the base’s importance.

Lieutenant Colonel Grant mentions another advantage of the C-17 simulator.

The Stewart Air National Guard base has 9 C-17 planes.

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