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The U.S. Air Force currently faces unprecedented problems in itsefforts to provide adequate training for new and inexperienced pilots in itsoperational fighter units. On the one hand, there are too few fighterpilots in the active component to meet current and anticipated demands. On the other hand, the number of new fighter pilots entering operational units currently exceeds these units' absorption capacity, yielding a degraded training environment that ultimately threatens to compromise military readiness. This report assesses the Air Force's training dilemma with a view toward finding ways to remedy it in both the short and long term.Toward this goal, it defines the key parameters that influence a unit'sabsorption capacity, presents a best-case scenario on which to basenumerical analyses, and offers several options decisionmakers can exercise.Although there is no simple resolution to the Air Force's training problem,a thorough understanding of the dynamic processes involved in aircrewmanagement, together with a comprehensive analytic framework, promises to greatly aid decisionmakers in their efforts to address this issue.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Acronyms PDF

  • Chapter 1

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter 2

    Empirical Evidence from Operational Units PDF

  • Chapter 3

    Managing the Pilot Inventory to Match Requirements PDF

  • Chapter 4

    Absorption Capacity: Parameters and Relationships PDF

  • Chapter 5

    Absorption Issues and Numerical Excursions PDF

  • Chapter 6

    Implications and Alternatives PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.