Army using aviation simulator to recruit bright students

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 This Morning / Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Army is trying to recruit a new generation of young soldiers as the military pulls out from decade-long wars overseas. In order to help with their effort, they are using aviation simulators to attract attention and gain interest from young recruits.

The fun and games inside the $1.9 million army aviation semi could one day lead to a career for some students on the Augusta State University campus.

"This is an actual Kiowa cockpit," said Sgt. First Class Nathaniel Rogers, who gives students a full tour when they enter the semi.

That cockpit Rogers showed was cut in half and installed onto the mobile simulator with an Apache air assault game.

"I thought it can't be hard landing, but sure enough, I crashed trying to land," Rogers said.

Sean Kramer is already looking to become a nurse within the Army.

"Looking forward to try and go airborne so I figured might as well see what they had to offer over here," Kramer said.

Everything inside the semi from the predator drone simulator, which lets students take off and land at the Augusta Regional Airport, is designed to show students how the Army uses technology.

"As the Army is starting its downsizing from previous years of war, we are trying to attract highest quality of students," said Lt. Colonel Keith Cantrell with ASU's Department of military sciences.

The opportunities to have school paid for, to have a salaried job and to get the experience that translates over to a civilian career are what attracts students.

"A lot of kids can get it on their XBox 360. When they come in here some have already played it," Rogers added.

For Kramer, they are familiar tools and games to attract new recruits to a new generation of jobs. The semi parked at ASU on Tuesday is open to the public until 3 p.m. Its next stop will be Burke County High School.

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