Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Airman, 1st Class, Pedro Tenorio  

SHEPPERD AIR FORCE BASE – “Back to the Future II” is just one of many movies or other media that attempted to predict future technology such as real hover boards, self-lacing shoes, flying cars and retractable coat sleeves.

It’s safe to say the prognosticators were quite wrong on those futuristic gadgets – except for one thing. Virtual worlds and holodecks seem to be looking like it could actually be a reality and could help the Air Force in more ways than one.

On Jan. 26, 366th Training Squadron electrical systems apprentice trainees were offered, while some were chosen, to take part in a little demonstration to help find out if virtual reality is the future of training here on Sheppard Air Force Base and maybe the whole Air Force.

The demonstration was held in the 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs Digital Design Lab and featured what some would say is an unusual and innovative take on training. Students were brought one by one into the lab, where they donned a VR headset and stepped into a simulation – a nightmare for people scared of heights.

The results were conclusive, though, on both sides. Instructor and trainee.

“It was interesting to see how this plays out,” said Tech. Sgt. David Harris, an electrical systems instructor at the demo.