It is now an axiom in the military profession that you should train as if it is certain you will be on the front lines. The U.S. Air Force and Navy learned this lesson the hard way more than fifty years ago in the skies over North Vietnam. Since then, the Department of Defense has continued to invest heavily in ensuring that training for pilots and crews is as close to the real thing as possible. This includes advanced instrumentation for training ranges and onboard systems for aircraft. Recently, the Air Force has decided to acquire the next generation in tactical training systems, one that employs the same technologies as the system being acquired by the Navy. This will boost the ability of Air Force pilots to practice advanced combat maneuvers and will help ensure that both Services will be able to train as they will fight: together in one Joint Force. I have written a commentary on this smart move by the Air Force here.
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