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Training Tactical Fighter Pilots for War

Training Tactical Fighter Pilots for War

(p.33) 2 Training Tactical Fighter Pilots for War
The Air Force Way of War
Brian D. Laslie
University Press of Kentucky

Chapter 2 traces the tactical and doctrinal changes that occurred in the air force through the 1970s and 1980s and focuses on the development of new opportunities to train. Several concrete changes occurred to air force training regimens immediately following the end of the Vietnam War. First, fighter pilots meeting at Nellis Air Force Base created and instituted the designed operational capability (DOC) statement. This allowed fighter squadrons to focus only on a primary and secondary mission rather than having to train toward numerous missions and never reach combat proficiency in any of them. These same pilots also instituted the “building-block” approach to air combat, a step-by-step process to train pilots in operations from basic fighter maneuvers to more advanced air combat training. This chapter also details the creation of dedicated “aggressor” squadrons. The aggressors were trained in Soviet combat techniques and flew aircraft similar in size and power to enemy MiGs. These squadrons flew against other fighter squadrons to demonstrate just how the enemy functioned in battle. Finally, a secret program code-named Constant Peg allowed select pilots to fly against actual MiG aircraft obtained by the U.S. Air Force.

Keywords:   Military training, Aggressors, MiGs

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