SPECIAL REPORT / AIR WARFARE & FLIGHT OPERATIONS
Are the simulators increasingly used for training?
BULL: Yes. A good example of this is the comparison
for our pilot-versus-NFO training. Currently, our strike
fighter aviator students have a 70/30 split — 70 percent
flight time to 30 percent simulator. A strike fighter
NFO training track has just undergone a revolutionary change in the way we train, and their split is also
70/30, only it’s reversed — 70 percent being completed
in the simulator and 30 percent in the aircraft.
Simulators are an important part of aviation training because we can do things in the simulator that we
wouldn’t want to do in the aircraft. With the fidelity of
the simulators today, the trend is to move more of the
flight syllabus into a simulated environment. We’re doing
this with the F/A- 18, E- 2 and helicopter simulators back
in the fleet. For CNATRA, each platform is unique, so
the ratio of flight time to simulator time will vary, but the
trend is to try to use our simulators more than in the past.
The improvements in simulator capability allow us
to deliver at least the same quality of instruction that
we can in the aircraft. Particularly, as I look at live virtual constructive technologies, I foresee that number
moving further and further into the simulator.
With the retirement of the T- 39, how are NFOs
BULL: That’s been a big success story. We’ve tran-
sitioned to the T- 45 using the VMTS for the strike
NFO community. The VMTS is an embedded airborne
implementation of synthetic virtual radar training
capability that also has a ground-based instructor con-
trol station and a debriefing capability. The VMTS can
generate multiple adversaries in increasingly complex
missions, which provide the student with a greater
training spectrum and quality of training.
In conjunction with the flight event, the ground
station is operated by experienced NFOs presenting
scenarios for the student and IP [instructor pilot] in the
cockpit. Post-event, we use a debriefing station where the
entire scenario can be replayed moment by moment. This
replayability gives the student the opportunity to view the
scenario from the objective viewpoint and, along with the
instructors, they can critique the event’s success.
This has been our first real foray into that live virtual
constructive technology and training that I talked about.
We will look to leverage our success and lessons learned
in this area for potential use in other training pipelines.
In the patrol reconnaissance NFO pipeline, we’re
now training completely in multi-crew simulators, or
MCS. The MCS fosters skill in advanced navigation
systems, electronic warfare, battlespace management,
situational awareness, in-flight decision making and
mission command skills. This syllabus consists of a
common core stage for student NFOs [followed by]
type-specific training for the P- 3, P- 8, EP- 3, E- 2 and
E- 6 based on the student’s future platform.
The MCS offers unparalleled flexibility for training,
enabling training in multiple scenarios with various
crews, without actual aircraft or flight hours. This is really
revolutionary. We’ve kept a very close eye on the quality
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 14 SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2016
A T-45C Goshawk, assigned to Training Air Wing 1, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington
July 11. Washington, homeported in Norfolk, Va., was underway conducting carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean.
Chief of Naval Air Training uses the T- 45 for strike training for both pilots and naval flight officers.