Grissom Air Reserve Base in Miami County is set to unveil new training equipment. The $3 million Boom Operator Weapons System Trainer allows crews to practice aerial refueling.

September 25, 2013

News Release

Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind. – Senior leaders at Grissom will host a special ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for a new Boom Operator Weapons System Trainer (BOWST) Friday at 3 p.m.

Grissom is the first Air Force Reserve Command base to have a BOWST, which will allow KC-135 Stratotanker boom operators to conduct vital training in a virtual environment.

A boom operator is an important part of a KC-135's three-person aircrew as they are the Airman that guides the physical connection between the tanker and the receiver aircraft to transfer fuel during an aerial refueling process.

Grissom's BOWST, which cost approximately $3 million, will provide significant benefits by reducing the required number of flight hours in a KC-135 Stratotanker for boom operators to maintain training and currency. The reduction in flight training will save Grissom an estimated $3 million per year.

The BOWST also allows for enhanced training as it allows for more specialized training with emergency procedures and makes it easy for boom operators to train on all types of receivers.

It is anticipated that boom operators from other bases will travel to Grissom to train in the BOWST.

Grissom is home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing, the largest KC-135 unit in the AFRC.

Source: Grissom Air Reserve Base

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