AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE United States
The United Sates Air Force has been using the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals course IFF in relatively the same manner for the last forty years. During that time, the F-15C, its tactics and adversaries have grown dramatically. IFF has not evolved to replicate the follow-on training students will encounter in the F-15C or other fighter aircraft. Based on this fact, a decision was made to look at this problem and assess possible solutions. A comparison between the F-15C B-course and IFF was used to evaluate the skills and experience students would receive at IFF and whether or not those skills and experiences are transferable to the F-15C. Highlighted throughout this research was the fact that based on the T-38C being used as a trainer and the time spent focusing on flying the T-38C was not producing the desired results. The F-15C has evolved to the point that no longer does the IFF experience prepare students for success in the F-15C B-course. Based on these findings, a recommendation to move the IFF course for F-15C students to the F-15C B-course is made. Modifying the course, allowing for more exposure to the F-15C, its systems and tactics, is the preferred solution. Using the F-15C B-course as an example, other fighter training units will be able to build upon its success. IFF is a valid training course, but it needs to evolve to allow fighter pilots greater success in their follow-on aircraft.