Building the Plane Inflight: Observations from Case Studies in Wartime Flight Training for Partner Nations
Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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This monograph explores what the operational artist should know about conducting wartime flight training to develop partner nations airpower capacity. The danger and exigency of war amplifies the difficulties of military assistance and advising in peacetime. Technical demands such as training to fly modern combat aircraft further amplify the challenges of building partner capacity and foreign internal defense. A successful wartime flight training program will anticipate the challenges of culture and language, foster robust political and institutional commitments with clear objectives, and develop sustainable and integrated aviation forces tailored to the combat requirements of partner nations. This study employs a structured, focused comparison of three historical case studies of wartime flight training conducted by the US Air Force the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force in World War II Aztec Eagles, 1944-1945, the Republic of Korea Air Force Bout One, 1950-1951, and the South Vietnamese Air Force Flying Dragons, 1955-1975. The cases are analyzed across three dimensions culture language and social challenges, commitment donor funding, political guarantees, and institutional pressures, and combat results of the training and tailoring training programs to partner nation requirements. This selective landscape of wartime flight training for partner nations presents operational observations for future military assistance. The operational planner should dedicate time and resources to pre-training language courses, align tactical programs with strategic objectives to engender maximum levels of political and fiscal support, and build and train to integrated and sustainable combat capability including tactical air control systems and aircraft maintenance and supply.