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Airmen learn with virtual reality

Airmen learn with virtual reality

Senior Airman Ricky Perez, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron force protection escort, participates in a scenario testing his conflict resolution skills Nov. 14, 2018, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. This new avatar interaction software was previously only used by students at Squadron Officer School. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua King)

Airmen learn with virtual reality

Senior Airman Ricky Perez, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron force protection escort, interacts with an avatar during an interpersonal skills course Nov. 14, 2018, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. Perez went through a scenario where two coworkers were not getting along and needed to compromise to complete their project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua King)

SOUTHWEST ASIA --

When an Airman becomes a noncommissioned officer, they are entrusted with the duty of leading and mentoring junior enlisted Airmen, at times this includes conflict resolution.

In partnership with Squadron Officer School, Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing had the opportunity to participate in scenarios that tested their interpersonal skills.

Through a virtual reality program, an Airman interacts with an avatar that is portrayed by an actor and has a pre-selected scenario that will test the Airman.

“We wanted to establish a foundation of experience and leadership in our Airmen before they have real world experiences,” said Chief Master Sgt. Toraino Hodges, 386th Expeditionary Mission Support Group superintendent. “We want to have the opportunity to give them feedback on how to do it correctly so they can give their most to their Airmen.”

Supervisors are there to assist their Airmen as they transition from the civilian world to life in the Air Force and beyond. This can be a difficult time period for some Airmen and their supervisors will be there to support them.

If an NCO has never encountered a specific situation, they could have trouble helping them with it.

“Using the avatars, gives the Airmen a sense of comfortability instead of sitting across from another person,” said Hodges. “They are able to put themselves in an honest situation instead of holding back and feeling uncomfortable through the experience.”

Originally designed for use at SOS, leaders in the area of responsibility and specifically here at ‘The Rock,’ felt that enlisted members would benefit greatly from the program and have since conducted two classes with junior enlisted Airmen.

“We are currently using the software’s existing scenarios but we hope to start putting in more military centric scenarios,” said Master Sgt. Josh Craig, 386th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron flight chief. “With the positive feedback we have received, we hope to create a three week course to help our new supervisors and young Airmen with conflict resolution and dealing with difficult situations.”