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USAF losing the Edge

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posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 10:14 PM
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This is a concern! Vietnam proved that advanced aircrafts alone aren't the key to victory. In theory the F-4 Phantom was superior to the Mig 21, but better training and tactics on the part of the enemy resualted in horrific losses on our side. It was this staggering number of losses that lead to the creation of Top Gun. the lack of training cause ore Kill Ratio to fall from 12 to 1 down to 2 to 1. By improving the training they got the numbers back to 12 to 1 without changing the aircraft. This shows the difference training makes.




posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 11:33 AM
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Training plays a huge role. And in the case of the U.S. Air Force, training has gone down. Due to our highly lethargic and beyond egotistical attitude thinking we are better than the world, we are less likely to succeed in a normal, highly aerobic air-to-air combat with any other country, regardless of our seemed to be Air [Power] Superiority.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 11:55 AM
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The best trained US personnel are as good as anyones, the trouble with the US forces (as told to me by my RAF mate) is that these highly trained experts only make up a small percentage of the US armed forces compared to other nations (well, compared to the UK which is what he knows about).

the lack of proper training in the USA is made up for by sheer weight of numbers, however this approach also leads to disproportionate numbers of accidents and mistakes, such as the US' poor accident rate with the Harrier for example as well as the troll fodder 'freindly fire' incidents.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Could this lower flight hours not be because of todays more advanced simulators?
For example the F-22 will not have the training (2 seat) version at all. Most of the training will be made on simulators.


This is an extremely valid point, that shouldn't be overlooked...



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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...Yes most training will be with/on simulators, which is not a wise choice. Hand to hand training by far is the only way a pilot could successfully fly the FA22 Raptor. Hence, the term test pilot. Simulators can only do so much, but not enough in terms of training a pilot for real air to air combat/superiodity. In this case, the difference between a strong Air Force versus a technology advanced Air Force comes down to the training involved that enables the technology over the [Air Power integrating into Space] strength (skill) or the strength over the technology.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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Its interesting the awareness that most of us have training makes a good pilot. I say this as one my self and with the knowledge that my good graces of landings is due to myself not emptying my bag or luck before the one for experence was close to being filled. Training is key and im proud to say that actually the canadian forces are some of the most trained flyers and military personal out there. It is troubling to see the hours being cut back for the usaf but from the sounds of it, its is in party due to the armies cost of funding the iraq war sky rocketing. Is it possible that normal training will resume for the usaf after the war slows down? if thats even possible.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 08:23 PM
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Look, what's the size of the RAF compared to the USAF answer that question and you will know why the RAF can sped more time training their pilots. Sure I would like to see better training for the average pilot in the USAF but its numbers and advanced aircraft/support systems IMO more than make up for that.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 06:09 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Look, what's the size of the RAF compared to the USAF answer that question and you will know why the RAF can sped more time training their pilots. Sure I would like to see better training for the average pilot in the USAF but its numbers and advanced aircraft/support systems IMO more than make up for that.


The US still has the best pilots in the world (second only to probably the Israeli Airfroce)

Yes, the US has the a lot of pilots, but it also has the best of them.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Look, what's the size of the RAF compared to the USAF answer that question and you will know why the RAF can sped more time training their pilots. Sure I would like to see better training for the average pilot in the USAF but its numbers and advanced aircraft/support systems IMO more than make up for that.



But that doesn't make any sense, if your Air Force is bigger then naturally your training establishment is bigger too, any air force only provides the training it wants to, or feels it needs. Just imagine the USAF, as big and well equipped as it is, but with training equivalent to the RAF right across the board. Now that would be an awesome force.

Interestingly, and sort of related, the USAF learned a few tricks about C-17 operation from the RAF after the USAF itself had trained the RAF guys the basics in the first place, thats how a partnership works



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 08:25 AM
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I think that something you guys are forgeting as well is that there is alot of international training that goes on. currently the canadian forces train a couple hundered usaf and raf pilots a year. in some ways the commonwealth training program is still going strong
There is alot of training that goes on still after a pilot becomes an operational pilot.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by waynos

Originally posted by WestPoint23
Look, what's the size of the RAF compared to the USAF answer that question and you will know why the RAF can sped more time training their pilots. Sure I would like to see better training for the average pilot in the USAF but its numbers and advanced aircraft/support systems IMO more than make up for that.



But that doesn't make any sense, if your Air Force is bigger then naturally your training establishment is bigger too, any air force only provides the training it wants to, or feels it needs. Just imagine the USAF, as big and well equipped as it is, but with training equivalent to the RAF right across the board. Now that would be an awesome force.

Interestingly, and sort of related, the USAF learned a few tricks about C-17 operation from the RAF after the USAF itself had trained the RAF guys the basics in the first place, thats how a partnership works


Um, no offense waynos, but the US has probably the best training in the world, nobody really comes close to them as of now.

Here's a good article on it





The U.S. Air Force is cutting training (flying hours) for its combat pilots. That’s why it's tough being a general in the U.S. Air Force these days. Faced with redistribution of the defense budget to pay for U.S. Army operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the air force suddenly has $3.7 billion less than it expected this year. This is out of a budget of $123 billion. Most of that money goes to three areas; Operations and maintenance-$39 billion, Procurement- $31 billion, Research and Development- $21 billion. The Air Combat Command (ACC), which controls the actual combat aircraft (including their maintenance and training), has been told to cut $825 million. Cutting everything in sight, except flying hours, still left ACC short. So they cut 32,000 flying hours, to save $272 million.


Cutting flying hours in wartime, from a historical perspective, appears to be wrong. The air force learned during World War II that an edge in flying hours (during training) was a key to victory, and keeping American pilots alive in combat. This was documented after the war, when it was possible to examine German and Japanese training records, and compare that with combat losses. As the war went on, American pilots got more flying hours during training, while Japanese and German pilots got less. Combat losses went up when you had fewer flying hours during training.


But that was a different war. Today, the U.S. Air Force is not turning out thousands of new pilots a month for a world war. Most air force pilots already have hundreds, or thousands, of hours in the air. ACC will not cut hours for training new pilots. The cuts, which amount to ten percent of flying hours for the fiscal year (which ends in September), but a 60 percent cut for the rest of the fiscal year, will fall mainly on pilots not getting ready to go to Iraq or Afghanistan. The generals are gambling that this cut will not put American pilots at a disadvantage in any major air war that might occur in the next year. It’s a reasonable gamble. [B]American pilots are, arguably, the most experienced and effective in the world.[/B] Moreover, the air force combat pilots have little involvement in the war on terror. There are a few hundred air force warplanes in action over Iraq and Afghanistan. Those two wars are being fought mostly on the ground. The training cuts will not affect the time spent in the air by pilots operating in combat zones. But if North Korea turns into a major war, which appears to be a long shot at the moment, the air force would be heavily involved. The same thing with China trying to invade Taiwan. Another distant possibility right now.

There are alternatives. The air force could cut more from the procurement budget, which is buying aircraft and equipment for future wars (especially China, which grows more formidable in the air year by year.) Same with the Research and Development budget. Cuts made anywhere are a risk, for air wars that may occur in the near future, or a decade from now.

The air force generals will take some heat for cutting flying hours. That’s something history, and a lot of combat pilots, agree is a very bad thing. But generals are supposed to look at the big picture, take the long view, and make decisions based on incomplete information (like what the future will bring.) It would have been easier to slash Procurement and R&D, in order to keep the pilots flying. Some will say the generals are too intent on keeping the F-22 and F-35 programs going, and are aware they don’t dare touch the transports (which are the hardest working air force planes at the moment, moving people and material to combat zones.) You can’t even say time will tell, because if there isn’t a major war in the next year, and the flying hours are restored next fiscal year, everyone will be home free. But if there is a war, lack of flying hours now, will mean more dead pilots then. It’s tough being an air force general.



[edit on 9-6-2005 by Hockeyguy567]www.strategypage.com...

[edit on 9-6-2005 by Hockeyguy567]



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 07:19 PM
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hockeyguy... you obviously have not bene keeping up to date with the latest excercise data


The french currently are ranked the highest... and that was with all advanced avionics switched off to avoid giving away data to rivals.

The USAF, RAF are among the air forces that took part... the french absolutely stomped on everyone



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 07:31 PM
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What exercises? And explain to me how this works, do the pilots just fly without using their systems or what?



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 07:33 PM
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The USAF, RAF are among the air forces that took part... the french absolutely stomped on everyone



Ooooh...I can see that going down like a lead balloon here! I can believe it, some might think the French as surrendering cheese-monkeys ( a complete myth, they fought some very galant battles during WW2, they were just out maneuvered in 1940), but they have some very good kit and those that are in the military have high morale and good training.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 03:33 AM
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Hockeyguy,

The discussion over the relative qualities of military pilots across the world has been done just recently.

I think you will find that your belief the USAF pilots are the best trained in the world is false.

Furthermore I think you will find that in the US the USAF are not even the best trained. I think you will find they are a poor third to the USMC and the USN both of whom train their aviators to a much higher degree.

The training cycle of the USAF does not compare favourably to many of the Air Forces of the western world. This is not to say they are badly trained simply to say that others are better trained by the time they are assigned a squadron.

Cheers

BHR



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by Lucretius
hockeyguy... you obviously have not bene keeping up to date with the latest excercise data


The french currently are ranked the highest... and that was with all advanced avionics switched off to avoid giving away data to rivals.

The USAF, RAF are among the air forces that took part... the french absolutely stomped on everyone


If your talking about the Rafale/F-18 engagments with the de Gaulle, then you are gravely mistaken, the Rafale had use of the HMS, and the F/-18's didn't, an unfair advantage.

Besides, USN pilots are probably the best in the world, debating would be ridiculous.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 06:09 AM
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Originally posted by BillHicksRules
Hockeyguy,

The discussion over the relative qualities of military pilots across the world has been done just recently.

I think you will find that your belief the USAF pilots are the best trained in the world is false.

Furthermore I think you will find that in the US the USAF are not even the best trained. I think you will find they are a poor third to the USMC and the USN both of whom train their aviators to a much higher degree.



I know the USAF is behind the USN and USMC in terms of training, and they are 3rd. But comparing the USAF to almost any other airforce, and the USAF simply blows them away in terms of training, or anything for that matter, prove me wrong, I dare you.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:28 AM
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Training, simulations, and exercises are all well and nice, but to me there are only two actual factors that allow you to judge the combat effectiveness of any given air force:

1) number of actual hours in the seat for the pilots of said air force
2) number of actual air-to-air kills (versus losses) that said air force has accrued

Using these metrics, if one goes back through the past 25 years, it becomes readily apprent that there are perhaps 2 or 3 armed air forces that are truely top notch and battle tested. Everyone else are uproven and untested question marks.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by Hockeyguy567

Originally posted by BillHicksRules
Hockeyguy,

The discussion over the relative qualities of military pilots across the world has been done just recently.

I think you will find that your belief the USAF pilots are the best trained in the world is false.

Furthermore I think you will find that in the US the USAF are not even the best trained. I think you will find they are a poor third to the USMC and the USN both of whom train their aviators to a much higher degree.



I know the USAF is behind the USN and USMC in terms of training, and they are 3rd. But comparing the USAF to almost any other airforce, and the USAF simply blows them away in terms of training, or anything for that matter, prove me wrong, I dare you.


Oh ok then. the amount of training that is done in both sim and actual flying time by the america usaf is pitiful when compared to the Canadian Forces pilots. I'm looking up the exact hours but as i remeber from going to a recruitment session for both forces(i was looking at goin into either) the we Canadians have to have about 30 to a max of 40 percent more actual flight time before getting into a sqn. i could be wrong but thats what i remeber. also as i said earlier the usaf even send its pilots to us for training lol.

[edit on 10-6-2005 by Canada_EH]



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 08:23 AM
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Was always my understanding that in reguards to air combat the isrealis rule the skies

I remember reading not so long ago about, a exercise with USN flyers the exercise was halted at the USN request when its entire air fleet had been destroyed in the exercise by the IDF.

I beleive the tally was nearly 10:1 in favour of the IDF

Also i remember reading about a red flag exercise were the results ended up as

1st IDF
2nd RAF
3rd FRENCH
4th USAF

please correct me if im wrong but i clearly remember reading these items.

Theres mention of the usn defeat on the f16.net board.

i`ll google some more and try and find the reports.




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