BOWSTBoom Operator Weapons System trainer
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The BOWST is also very valuable when it comes to running flight checklists and procedures, said Tech.
Although several other BOWST systems are operational throughout the Air Force, the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson is only the second unit in Air Force Reserve Command to receive the trainer.
Operators from several units are scheduled to travel to Seymour Johnson to train using the BOWST, including Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire; and Birmingham ANGB, Alabama.
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, said Gary Beebe, site manager for the contractor that operates and maintains the boom operator trainer as well as Grissom's KC-135 cockpit simulator.
"It's a money-saver, because it costs about $300 per hour to run the BOWST, and it costs almost $7,000 an hour to fly the airplane," Beebe said.
On top of the cost-saving benefits, Grissom's BOWST also allows for enhanced training with emergency procedures and makes it easier for boom operators to train on all types of receivers.