ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH is training the NATO radar technicians who will be keeping an eye on Turkish airspace in AWACS aircraft as from next week. The technicians are learning how to operate the giant radar of the AWACS aircraft at a course lasting four weeks. ESG has designed the course on the basis of the very latest training methods. In addition, it developed the training documents and the computer-assisted instruction (CAI). The ESG instructors are holding their lectures in English.
NATO has had airborne early warning aircraft since 1980. They are part of a multinational integrated force of twenty-five Booing 707 aircraft. They are fitted with the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). The largest part of this force is based at Geilenkirchen near Aachen. The most conspicuous feature of the AWACS aircraft is the rotating antenna, which has a diameter of nine metres and revolves six times per minute around its own axis. At a height of 9,500 metres, it can survey an area covering 300,000 km². Some of these aircraft will be transferred from Germany to Turkey this week. They are a defensive contribution to the protection of fellow NATO nation Turkey by the North Atlantic alliance in the current Iraq crisis.
The radar system in the AWACS aircraft was replaced in 1998. ESG has been training the airborne radar technicians since that time. Courses are held six times a year at Geilenkirchen. Fifteen to twenty technicians attend the four-week training course every year. This relatively high number is attributable to the fact that technicians from almost all the nineteen NATO nations fly in the AWACS aircraft and are replaced every three years on average.
With a staff of more than 1,000 and a turnover of 143 million euros (2002), ESG is one of Germany’s leading system and software houses. ESG’s “Training/Further Education” unit has been advising companies and the armed services on the introduction of e-learning for a large number of years; it also customises learning platforms and develops new learning concepts. In addition, it defines learning objectives on the basis of requirements analyses, and it generates curricula and develops training documents. It is conversant with the very latest methods used in adult education (CBT, WBT, etc.). Among other things, ESG developed the Internet-based interactive corporate television of the VW Group (iTV) together with Volkswagen AG.