Navy Delivers Latest Normobaric Hypoxia Training Device

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.–Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges (PMA-205) program office Naval Aviation Survival Training Program (NASTP) installed the eighth and final hypoxia trainer at the Naval Aviation Survival Training Center aviation (ASTC) located in Whidbey Island, Washington, this month.

NASTP has installed the Normobaric Hypoxia Trainer (NHT) at eight Naval Aviation Enterprise locations, providing fixed-wing and non-ejection seat aircrew the opportunity to experience hypoxia in a safe and technologically relevant.

“The staff at ASTC, Whidbey Island are excited to deliver dynamic hypoxia training to our Airmen and aircrew using the NHT. Being able to incorporate the specificity of the training to our students and tailor their aircraft platform equipment will increase the relevance of the fleet and the quality of training we are able to provide,” said Lt. Cmdr. Miles A. Erwin, director of ASTC at Whidbey Island.” Fleet personnel who are familiar with NHT but have not yet experienced the trainer are eager to experience the updated training and enjoy the progress of their survival training.”

The Navy previously used low-pressure chambers for hypoxia awareness, but these chambers were considered high risk to the long-term health of aircrew.

“The chambers put extreme pressure on the body and caused some Airmen to rupture their sinuses, causing them to be grounded for months,” said Cmdr. Andrew Hayes, PMA-205 NASTP team leader. “Barotrauma, decompression sickness and ruptured eardrums along with structural integrity issues have become the catalyst for the downgrading of our chambers.”

The NHT allows students to experience the symptoms of hypoxia, but not through the use of low pressure. The pressure they experience is equal to that at sea level.

The trainer uses a nitrogen generation system that removes some of the oxygen from the surrounding air, then filters the nitrogen-enriched air that is routed to the training enclosure, causing hypoxia for the crew without subjecting it to dangerous low pressure.

“The NASTP team came together and brought this revolutionary training device to use in just two years,” said Capt. Lisa Sullivan, PMA-205 program manager. “With the installation of the last NHT at Whidbey Island, there are now eight NHT devices installed at ASTCs across the United States. The NHT is designed, built and installed by the government and is revolutionizing the way we safely train aircrew.

About the PMA-205:

The PMA-205 provides full lifecycle acquisition of naval aviation training platforms, general training systems, training range instrumentation systems, and distributed mission training centers to deliver Navy and Marine Corps pilots, Navy flight officers, aircrew and maintainers the required training equipment to provide superior capability and operational readiness.

The program office manages flight simulators, part task trainers, maintenance trainers, airborne and underwater training range instrumentation, threat systems and associated programs to ensure optimum performance for naval aviation.

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