Military Flight Training

FPCD-75-145: Published: Apr 11, 1975. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 1975.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the possibility of consolidating military flight training.

GAO noted that: (1) the Air Force and Navy conduct separate undergraduate training programs for fixed-wing pilots and navigators; (2) the Navy trains Marine Corps pilots and navigators; (3) the Army has no undergraduate fixed-wing pilot or navigator training programs; (4) the potential for consolidating training depends heavily on the extent to which skills required by one service are also required by another; (5) because of the similarity on the flying skills taught in the services' undergraduate pilot and navigator training programs, GAO believes significant potential exists for consolidating this undergraduate training; (6) although many required skills are very similar, the services use different training methods; (7) under the Air Force's generalized approach, students receive the same training, fly the same aircraft, and may be assigned to units for additional training in any type of fixed-wing aircraft upon graduation; (8) under the Navy's specialized approach, after students go through a common training segment they receive additional undergraduate training in specific types of aircraft or for specific missions; (9) because of structural differences in undergraduate programs, GAO believes the present programs of one service probably would not satisfy the requirements of the other and that substantial consolidation would likely require the design of new programs to satisfy common requirements; (10) there are also differences in the types of aircraft and equipment used for training and the level of training provided in undergraduate programs; (11) standardization of aircraft and equipment would greatly enhance the chances for efficient and effective joint programs; (12) some joint pilot and navigator training programs are probably feasible at this time, depending on whether present differences can be resolved while continuing to use existing resources; and (13) service parochialism will probably be the most significant obstacle.

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