Skip to comments.The Israeli Red Flag
Posted on 03/22/2012 8:42:18 PM PDT by U-238
For the third time in the last six months the Israeli Air Force has hosted foreign fighter pilots for tactical training. Israeli fighter pilots are considered the best trained in the world, and Israel maintains a special training program, complete with pilots trained and equipped to operate as likely foes would, to train their own pilots. The latest nation to send fighters and pilots for training is Poland, flying F-16s in for that purpose. Previously, Italy had sent Typhoons and Tornados and Greece F-16s. The Israeli training center is based on the one pioneered by the U.S. Air Force Red Flag program and the U.S. Navy's Top Gun training. Using American aircraft for "aggressor (or dissimilar) training" began in the 1960s. The original "Top Gun" fighter pilot school was established in 1969, by the U.S. Navy, in response to the poor performance of its pilots against North Vietnamese pilots flying Russian fighters. What made the Top Gun operation different was that the training emphasized how the enemy aircraft and pilots operated. This was called "dissimilar training". In the past, American pilots practiced against American pilots, with everyone flying American aircraft and using American tactics. It worked in World War II because the enemy pilots were not getting a lot of practice and were using similar aircraft and tactics anyway. Most importantly, there was a lot of aerial combat going on, providing ample opportunity for on-the-job training. Not so in Vietnam, where the quite different Russian-trained North Vietnamese were giving U.S. aviators an awful time. The four week Top Gun program solved the problem. The air force followed shortly with its Red Flag school.
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