Using Distributed Mission Training to Augment Flight Lead Upgrade Training
Final rept. Jun 1999-Feb 2000
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB MESA AZ HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIRECTORATE
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Previous research on Distributed Mission Training DMT shows that pilots and Airborne Warning and Control System AWACS weapons directors rate DMT as highly effective for training multiship, multibogey air combat. DMT exercises were also used as opportunities for pilots participating in Flight Lead Upgrade FLUG training to gain experience in planning, briefing, leading, and debriefing 4-ship missions in an intensive air-to-air threat environment. We describe a four-phase research program at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Warfighter Training Research Division AFRLHEA in Apr 99 to assess the effectiveness of using DMT to augment FLUG training. We reviewed training records at one F-16 base to identify 4-ship FLUG missions that would benefit most from DMT experience and establish baseline rates for sorties repeated due to noneffective upgrading pilot proficiency. A 5-day DMT-FLUG protocol was developed targeting these missions. DMT-FLUG training exercises were conducted over one year. During these exercises, upgrading pilots led several missions of increasing complexity using the AFRL 4-ship DMT testbed in Mesa AZ with AWACS weapons controllers from AFRL s research facility at Brooks AFB TX. We assessed transfer to aircraft training through review of training records and interviews with both upgrading pilots and their instructors. Eight out of 12 upgrading pilots participating in DMT-FLUG successfully completed the program without any repeated missions, one pilot repeated one mission, two transferred out of fighters, and one pilot was still in training. We discuss pilots and AWACS weapons directors performance within DMT and identify mission tasks most appropriate for DMT.
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