Boeing [BA], together with the Air Force and industry partners, last week opened a state-of-the-art facility at Sheppard AFB, Texas, to train incoming airmen that will maintain the service’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet.

The Boeing-designed facility, which stood up Oct. 19, will offer a realistic training environment for future Raptor maintainers, the Chicago-based company said yesterday in a statement.

“Activating the training center at Sheppard has been a totally collaborative effort,” said Pam Valdez, Boeing’s director of F-22 Sustainment. “From day one, we’ve enjoyed a great spirit of teamwork with our Air Force customers, industry partners and suppliers. Working together for more than five years, we’ve been able to plan, design and integrate training devices, computerized classrooms and courseware into a 120,000-square foot. schoolhouse.”

Boeing is part of the Lockheed Martin [LMT]-led industry team supplying the Air Force with the modern fighter. Among its responsibilities, Boeing builds the aircraft’s wings and aft fuselage and is in charge of developing F-22 pilot and maintenance training programs.

Completing the project was made possible through the coordinated efforts of the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, including the 82nd Training Wing, the Air Combat Command, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, building contractor ECI Corporation and subcontractors, the company said. The latter group included AAI, AEI, DME, Sequoyah and USM.

For instructional purposes, engineers have divided the aircraft into seven full-scale, high-fidelity training devices that replicate flightline maintenance conditions and eliminate the need to train on operational aircraft, Boeing said. The devices provide hands-on practice in inspection, operation, removal and installation, system testing and fault isolation. They range from simple to highly complex, covering as few as 14 to as many as 240 separate tasks, the company said.

The armament trainer, for example, addresses 89 individual functions that technicians must perform in maintaining the F-22’s weapons bays, missile launchers, wing pylons, countermeasures dispenser and 20mm cannon, Boeing said. Each component of the trainer mirrors its onboard counterpart as faithfully as possible in dimensions, weight, center of gravity, color and texture, the company said.

“It’s not enough simply to read about maintaining a Raptor or watch someone else doing it on a video,” Valdez said. “There’s the kinetic aspect of training–getting physically attuned to the task. This is critical for timely execution as well as the technician’s safety and comfort.”

Students also will engage interactively with high-fidelity software lessons in 14 computer-controlled classrooms and gain additional hands-on experience in five labs, Boeing said. A Training System Services Center staffed by contractor personnel will support the entire curriculum, the company said.

Already the Air Force has taken delivery of 103 Raptors and the fleet is combat-ready, with two squadrons fully equipped at Langley AFB, Va., and the third of seven planned, an Alaskan unit, currently being equipped.