New Advanced Training Squadron
New Advanced Training Squadron
(Source: Israeli Air Force; issued June 04, 2018)
A new era of aircrew member training: Last week, the IAF's new Advanced Training Squadron was officially established in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The squadron will concentrate the entire scope of the aircrew members' training from the moment they finish the Flight Course until their Squadron Commander Course

Last week (Monday), the IAF's new Advanced Training Squadron’s ribbon-cutting ceremony took place. The squadron will become the first Flight Academy squadron to train qualified aircrew members. The squadron will concentrate the entire scope of the aircrew members' training from the moment they finish the Flight Course until their Squadron Commander Course. Every year, around 200 members will be positioned in the squadron.

The Importance of Instruction

“The squadron was the first structure in Hatzerim AFB and we continue to instruct our combatants there”, stated Col. A’, Commander of the Flight Academy. “We rely on a glorious legacy and the tradition of our combatants, educating the future generation where the past generations were educated as well. On one hand we teach the rudiments, and on the other a sense of innovation, creativity and advanced training strategies. It was realized that the IAF lacked such an establishment. The squadron will provide the air force's core population with continuous high-quality training. We have to establish a squadron that will lead the field of aircrew member instruction, a squadron acting as a source for knowledge while striving to educate and develop - a squadron that will be a home to its people”.

“Hundreds of aircrew members will go through the main IAF courses in the Advanced Training Squadron”, said Maj. A’, Commander of the Advanced Training Squadron. “It is a meaningful instructional establishment due to be opened in the IAF. The squadron’s training will be based on the most advanced strategies. Its instructional foundation and the courses' development will all be of the highest quality possible. The commanders and aircrew members who go through the courses will receive the best experience possible in an instructional establishment, and the best example for how to utilize the skills they've learned.

A Powerful Establishment

Aircrew member training in the IAF is "holistic", based on content learned by the aircrew member from his enlistment in the Flight Course up to the culmination of his military service. "The aircrew members' training is based on the realization that there are certain types of content which the cadets aren't capable of understanding during the Flight Course. As a result, their training never stops. They can always gain new knowledge and skillsets", said Maj. A'. "For example, when reading a children's book, my five-year old daughter will understand one thing and I would understand something completely different. Even if the cadet is outstanding, some content can only be realized after gaining a certain amount of experience. As part of the training, the cadets will be instructed in various fields, such as professionalism, command and the aircrew member's role, but the content will be intermixed and will differ from course to course".

Because said experience is essential, the IAF has been holding advanced courses for aircrew members at the Aerial Combat Academy, which will be replaced by the Advanced Training Squadron. "The decision to establish a squadron located in the Flight Academy which concentrates the entirety of the air force's advanced training was made by the IAF Doctrine & Instruction Unit. The aim is to improve and optimize the aircrew members' instruction", elaborated Maj. A'.

"The main issue with courses at the Aerial Combat Academy was that they did not fit with the aircrew members' holistic training, which did not exist back then. In the past, the courses were meant for a broader scope of people, the lecturers spoke to a wide target audience and the content wasn't always relevant to performance in the field. Transferring these courses to the Flight Academy allows for a complete grasp of the aircrew members' training, from their enlistment to the culmination of their military service, and ensures a continuous instruction process. The Flight Academy has various other advantages, such as being a powerful training establishment with well-constructed instructional infrastructure".

Roads to Take

The Advanced Training Squadron has five different courses for Flight Course graduates, Advanced Training Course cadets and experienced aircrew members. Courses include: the Basic Aerial Combat Course, meant for the Advanced Training Course cadets; the Advanced Aerial Combat Course, meant for aircrew members who have undergone their operational qualification in the squadron; Flight Leader Course (in which they learn how to lead a pair of aircraft in a four-aircraft formation); and the Deputy Squadron Commander Course, meant for Majors prior to their appointment as Deputy Squaron Commanders.

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