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354th Bulldogs improve in-flight sight

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Van Bockel, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, dons a helmet fitted with a Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014.  The eye piece over the Van Bockel's right eye generates a full-color image and provides information on potential targets while in flight.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Van Bockel, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, dons a helmet fitted with a Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014. The eye piece over the Van Bockel's right eye generates a full-color image and provides information on potential targets while in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, measures the eye placement of Lt. Col. Aaron Redfern, 354th Fighter Squadron director of operations, during a fitting for a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014.  The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue sensors or weapons and to designate targets with a high degree of accuracy by simply "looking at" the target or point of interest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, measures the eye placement of Lt. Col. Aaron Redfern, 354th Fighter Squadron director of operations, during a fitting for a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014. The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue sensors or weapons and to designate targets with a high degree of accuracy by simply "looking at" the target or point of interest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

Helmets worn by A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron lay on the table during a mass fitting of a helmet mounted integrated targeting system at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2015.  Technicians from the 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment flight modified and refit the pilots' existing helmets to accommodate the new device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

Helmets worn by A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron lay on the table during a mass fitting of a helmet mounted integrated targeting system at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2015. Technicians from the 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment flight modified and refit the pilots' existing helmets to accommodate the new device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, makes modifications to an A-10C Thunderbolt II helmet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014.  The helmets were modified to fit a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, makes modifications to an A-10C Thunderbolt II helmet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014. The helmets were modified to fit a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Aaron Redfern, 354th Fighter Squadron director of operations, holds his mask in place while Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, marks a spot on Redfern's helmet to fit a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014.  Technicians from the 355th OSS AFE flight modified and refit each pilots' existing helmets to accommodate the new device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Aaron Redfern, 354th Fighter Squadron director of operations, holds his mask in place while Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, marks a spot on Redfern's helmet to fit a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014. Technicians from the 355th OSS AFE flight modified and refit each pilots' existing helmets to accommodate the new device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

The eye piece of a Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System displays the opening splash screen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014.  The Scorpion provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue sensors or weapons, and to designate targets with a high degree of accuracy, by simply "looking at" the target or point of interest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

The eye piece of a Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System displays the opening splash screen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014. The Scorpion provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue sensors or weapons, and to designate targets with a high degree of accuracy, by simply "looking at" the target or point of interest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Van Bockel, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, provides feedback about the fit of his helmet to Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014.  Technicians from the 355th OSS AFE flight modified and refit each pilots' existing helmets to accommodate the new device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Van Bockel, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, provides feedback about the fit of his helmet to Airman 1st Class Joseph Gago, 355th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014. Technicians from the 355th OSS AFE flight modified and refit each pilots' existing helmets to accommodate the new device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron Bulldogs began flying with a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system.

The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue sensors or weapons and to designate targets with a high degree of accuracy by simply "looking at" the target or point of interest.

"It's an accuracy enhancement system that's worn by pilots to increase the situational awareness and weapons delivery," said Scott Smithers, 355th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment contractor.

The HMIT generates a full-color image in the eye piece in front of the pilot's right eye, which provides information on potential targets, while in flight.

"It gives us a monocle that we're able to look through to rapidly engage, target and designate things that are on the ground," said Lt. Col. Aaron Redfern, 354th FS director of operations.  "It's a great leap forward because it allows us, as close air support pilots, to keep our focus on the ground and support the people on the ground."

The addition of Scorpion to an airplane's weapons system reduces the time required to acquire, designate and engage targets.  It also provides the ability to share real time battlefield information between aircraft and ground platforms.

"While you're looking outside on the ground, you can see what your targeting pod is seeing at the same location," Redfern said.  "Beforehand, what we had to do was look inside the cockpit to try and interpret the scene, then look outside on the ground and then try and figure out where it was looking.  Now we can look at a point on the ground, slave the targeting pod to that point."

Smither said that this new system is a big bonus for pilots as compared to legacy systems because it allows for them to transition from day to night and maintain the same system without any changes. 

Technicians from the 355th OSS AFE flight have modified and refit each pilots' existing helmets to accommodate the new device.