Training goes paperless at Air Force school

Pilots training to become officers no longer have to contend with a pile of training documents several inches thick when taking courses at the Squadron Officers College (SOC). The college converted its training materials to an electronic book system that makes finding the right lesson pages easier for students and updating lessons simpler for instructors.

The Air Education and Training Command helped bring about the change. The command originally aimed to reduce printing costs. Capt. Danny Flores, chief of wargames and new technology at SOC, said the change been successful. “We’re saving up to $400,000 per year,” he said.

Additional benefits of the format became apparent as instructors could easily integrate new material, such as lessons learned in combat. “Before, we had a six- to eight-week lead time for adding new material,” Flores said. “Now we have a lead time of 48 to 72 hours.”

The book system was made by eBook Technologies, which has been in the electronic book and document business since 1998. Instructors and lesson writers can continue to work with standard document programs such as Microsoft Office as the system converts documents into a standard format that is readable on eBook readers. Course material is downloadable on the readers through an ethernet port.

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