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INTERVIEW
‘Simulator-Based Training Philosophy Has Not Only Enhanced the Quality of Training But Also Economises On Training Resources’
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, Air Marshal V.R. Iyer
What are the current responsibilities of Training Command and what changes do you see taking place in the future?

The main responsibility of Training Command is to train air warriors to effectively undertake the various tasks related to future conflicts, whether conventional, sub-conventional or nuclear. This involves ab-initio training and in-service training of officers and airmen during various stages in their career.

While ab-initio training is primarily aimed at indoctrinating them into the working ethos of the air force and providing them with adequate skills to handle all eventualities, in-service training aims to help in the growth and development of individuals.
With changes in the threat perception and geo-political scenario, our endeavour is to train air warriors so that they can effectively contribute at all levels of conflict — strategic, operational and tactical.

Keeping in tune with the endeavour of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to transform from a conventional ‘Air Force’ to an ‘Aerospace Force’ with credible space capabilities, we are continuously modifying our training pattern to adapt to this changing scenario.
Modern aircraft provide the pilot a large amount of information through sensors and data links. Sensor manipulation is also proving to be an important aspect with such aircraft. What specific training is imparted to cadets in these areas?
Data analysis in the cockpit and sensor manipulation forms part of advanced training for our pilots that are mainly conducted in our operational units. However, once a trainee pilot has learnt the basics of flying, he/she is exposed to the realms of advance training of data assimilation in an enhanced aviation environment. The training pattern is progressively evolved in a step-up method for ease of comprehension by the trainee. On completion of training, the trainee has adequate understanding of the sensors and data-links to optimally utilise them. Simulators play an important role in this regard.

What role simulators and simulated training aids play in training?
We are aggressively focusing on simulator-based training in all fields. Simulators have been included in the training syllabi at all stages of flying, technical and ground training. Use of simulated training aids forms an integral part of our training methodology. Simulator-based training philosophy has not only enhanced the quality of training but also economises on training resources.

Training a fighter pilot is an expensive and time consuming process. What is being done to reduce wastage/elimination and the screening process for the same?
In order to reduce wastage during the various stages of training fighter pilots, it is important to have an effective screening process to identify them early and channelise them to other specialisations. This screening process starts right from the selection stage at SSB’s and continues till their commissioning. Wherever possible, extra effort is put by the training staff to bring the trainee up to the required standards. If still unsuitable for fighters despite all efforts, a Training Review Board is constituted that recommends further course of action after scrutinising the performance and aptitude of the trainee. Thereafter, the trainee is either re-streamed or given another opportunity depending on recommendations of the Board. The complete process is fair, just and aimed at optimising organisational requirements vis-à-vis individual aspirations of the trainee.
 
 
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