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Warrior Preparation Center celebrates 25th anniversary

Master Sgt. Michael Hawk, Air Warfare Simulation Model Manager, performs combat training using the Rover III Operations System, Oct. 22, 2008, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Master Sgt. Michael Hawk, Air Warfare Simulation Model Manager, performs combat training using the Rover III Operations System, Oct. 22, 2008, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Master Sgt. Michael Hawk, Air Warfare Simulation Model Manager, performs combat training using the Rover III Operations System, Oct. 22, 2008, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Master Sgt. Michael Hawk, Air Warfare Simulation Model Manager, performs combat training using the Rover III Operations System, Oct. 22, 2008, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Mr. Ronald Allen, Warrior Preparation Center Model Controller, performs combat training using the Rover III Operations System, Oct. 22, 2008, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Mr. Ronald Allen, Warrior Preparation Center Model Controller, performs combat training using the Rover III Operations System, Oct. 22, 2008, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Mr. Andrew Li, Air Warfare Simulation manager, re-tasks entries in the air for war simulation, Oct.  22, 2008, at the Warrior Preparation Center, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S.  Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Mr. Andrew Li, Air Warfare Simulation manager, re-tasks entries in the air for war simulation, Oct. 22, 2008, at the Warrior Preparation Center, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. The technology that is used at the WPC simulates realistic air warfare situations providing military personnel and allied coalition forces the advanced combat training need to be successful in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

EINSIEDLERHOF, Germany -- While most children dream of playing video games for a living, for the last 25 years the Warrior Preparation Center has made this a reality for U.S. Air Forces in Europe warfighters who are training for combat. 

The WPC officially celebrated their anniversary Oct. 22 with a live, virtual and constructive conference, giving personnel and visitors a chance to discuss their 25 years of accomplishments in warrior preparation as well as look forward to what goals they have for the future. 

Like every anniversary, it provided a moment to look back at a beginning. For the WPC - that beginning was Col. Richard "Moody" Suter. The first commander, Colonel Suter, was a visionary who also developed the Air Force's Red Flag exercises. 

"I firmly believe that back in 1983, Colonel Suter had a vision on how to better prepare and train a warrior. If training cannot be done in a field -- how can it be accomplished in a lab or class room type environment," said Col. Scott Manning, WPC commander. 

Nearly 25 years ago the WPC was only a vision, but advances in technology have allowed the vision to become reality. 

"I think that if Colonel Suter was able to look over things now, he would see we have provided capabilities that are more robust than anyone would have ever imagined," Colonel Manning said. "The warrior preparation concept was there 25 years ago, but now what we are able to do through using new age technology makes opportunities endless." 

And as 2009 approaches, the WPC will continue to take on new challenges. 

"One of the biggest challenges will be supporting U. S. Africa Command, in addition to USAFE," Colonel Manning said. 

Along with that challenge, the WPC will continue advancing simulated war fighting technology. 

"The WPC is a group of four sub organizations that train the operational level war fighters. We are here to create real world scenarios," said Master Sgt. Michael Hawk, air warfare simulation model manager. "These programs have opened a lot of doors -- making it a perfect opportunity for all U.S. military personnel and allied Coalition forces to get the best war fighting training and to prepare them for the battlefield." 

The dream came full circle for James Clark, director Innovations and U.S. Task Force, as he revisited the WPC which he helped create. 

"I am glad to be back for the 25th anniversary here at the WPC," Mr. Clark said. "Being one of the original seven that helped build the center 25 years ago, I am in honor to Colonel Suter, he truly was one of the great visionaries of the U. S. Air Force."