Nuts and bolts approach takes off

A 23 Squadron fitter and turner was named Combat Support Group’s Aviator of the Year in May for helping bring movie magic to medical training at Amberley.

CAPTIONLeading Aircraftman Paul Street, centre, receives the CSG Aviator of the Year and bronze commendation for his work designing and building the frame for the Health OCU BlueRoom simulator. Story by Corporal Jacob Joseph.

Leading Aircraftman Paul Street was also awarded a bronze commendation for this work, which involved designing and building a modular framework to support a new mixed-reality C-130 training simulator.

Wearing headsets, medical personnel step inside a room decked out with chroma key blue-screen, lighting, cameras – like on a movie set – and vibrating floors to emulate the experience of treating a patient on a C-130 in flight.

The room matches the plane’s dimensions and even includes obstacles and trip hazards.

The award-winning Health Operational Conversion Unit BlueRoom is a first of its kind for Air Force.

Despite the high-tech setup, Leading Aircraftman Street’s “nuts and bolts” approach overcame one of the project’s key challenges. He designed the metal frame without welding so it can be disassembled and moved. This was complicated by the vibrating floor, which needed to shake without affecting the frame, cameras and lighting.

“My flight sergeant gave me three tradies and told me to make it happen,” Leading Aircraftman Street said.

Leading Aircraftman Street and team were run off their feet for the two months it took to finish the project, handling regular duties as well.

“It was good to see the guys actually putting in a day’s work,” Leading Aircraftman Street said.

“Jokes aside, I really want to emphasise that the whole project couldn’t have been done without the boys supporting me. Without them and my flight sergeant, none of this would have happened.”

The BlueRoom opened last October, with plans to grow the capability to include a C-17 simulator.

“Once all the officers came through and put the headset on they were like, ‘this is awesome’,” Leading Aircraftman Street said.

“It’s great to get these awards but I wasn’t expecting it – I was working with tradies from all different backgrounds.

“I thought if we did this project we could show everyone what we were capable of. It was a good chance to put our skills to work.”





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