Staff from 2502 (Hamilton) Squadron supported the annual South and East Midlands Wing camp at Defence Training Estate Swynnerton this year with an ambitious Flight Simulator exercises.
The two staff from 2502 have spent the last year preparing, planning, testing and running an ambitious flight simulator exercise for the wing camp at Swynnerton. The exercise is probably the first time a flight simulator and leadership exercise has come together on such a scale. The exercise ‘Operation Soter’, named after the Greek spirit of safety, preservation and deliverance from harm, was the idea of Flight Lieutenant Andy Faulkner, Officer Commanding 2502.
Operation Soter was designed as a development from the exercise ran last year. The aim was to use 4 Eurofighter Simulators, 1 Sentry E3-D simulator, 2 Air Traffic Control Simulators and Incident command room to test cadets Flying, Navigation, Communication, Leadership and decision making skills.
The Incident commander could only communicate with the Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) at RAF Boulmer (the opposite end of the room) with their Operation specialist, passing notes and verbal commands and briefings.
The CRC Duty officer (a cadet) would then relay these messages and commands to the flight crews through the two Air Traffic Controllers, using Voice over network technology. The flight crews would then follow the instructions and relay information back to the CRC.
The premise of the exercise was to find an off course commercial flight and make contact. The Incident commander would have to gather the information and decided if the situation was hostile or an emergency based on the information and documents sent to over the course of the exercise.
The activity ran for 4 days with three flights of cadets a day, over 200 cadets took part during the camp.
Flt Lt Andy Faulkner OC 2502 Said: “Some 150 hours or more has gone into the planning and preparation of the activity and it’s paid off with all cadets enjoying and taking part. Each flight commander referred to the activity as ‘Intense’ or ‘Stressful’. I will add no cadets were harmed during the running of the exercise.
This is the first time we have ever tried a flight simulator and leadership exercise on this scale and may be the first time ever within the organisation. I would like to thank, Civilian Instructor David Kennedy for all the Support had hard work put into the activity to ensure its success.”