100th ARW cuts ribbon on Boom Operator Weapon System Trainer

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lexie West
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 100th Air Refueling Wing held a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the Boom Operator Weapon System Trainer, or BOWST, at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Oct. 13, 2020. 

The BOWST is a simulator that enables boom operators to hone their skills on the ground and allows instructors to evaluate student development before they complete real-world operations.

“The simulator allows us to train boom operators without having to get in an airplane and gives us the capability to complete some of the training on the ground which is harder to accomplish in the air,” said Lt. Col. Tyler Berge, 351st Operations Support Squadron director of operations.

Boom operators can now utilize the BOWST simulator to train on refueling various aircraft in different visibility conditions, all while staying at home station.

“Previously, we’d have to send people on temporary duty to receive training,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jon Adams, 351st Air Refueling Squadron superintendent. “We were only getting half of the training that we should have been getting on an annual basis because of the TDYs. This trainer is going to help us fill our requirements, cut training costs and save time,” Adams continued.

The simulator provides boom operators the convenience of completing training at home while allowing them to obtain the necessary skills in a much shorter time frame.

“We can get someone qualified, mission ready and out the door quicker compared to what we had to do in the past,” said Berge. “With the addition of the BOWST, we can set our Airmen up for success by giving them multiple ways to accomplish their training, maintain proficiency and continue to accomplish the mission.”