Navagation, spotting, low level flying, charting and chart plotting, air sea rescue, ship and plane identification protocols, survival, defensive flying. radio protocol, encryption, morse code, weather (wind, clouds, sea state) reporting. These are all things that a naval patrol crew needs to know before they can be effective. It the game it is an abstract but this is what they would be learning before going out on actual patrol. It is not just flying out and looking for things. I would think the patrol crews were the most specialized of any and needed the most training. Only thing I see is that they should gain ASW experience as well as search when training as most all long range search planes were ASW warfare aircraft as well.
Transport crews need to know many things as well though the were notoriously undertrained for paratroop and glider operations leading to many preventable disasters.
These are good points (actually very good points), but I wonder how much of that is related to training on how to fly, rather than how to fly a naval search mission.
I mean, I'm all in favor of training pilots and crews on how to fly better. But the game puts training for notoriously difficult tasks like aerial combat and dive bombing in the same level as training for transport and naval search. I can't understand that.
Say that you have two pilot/crews ("careful, promising officer better suited for an air group"), and you spend 500 hours with them teaching them how to fly. Now they reasonably know how to fly, but they don't know how to do a torpedo bomb run. If you put these guys to do a run against the enemy they are dead meat. It is very likely, though, that both will be reasonable capable of running a naval search mission already, as they are.
Now you assign pilot/crew A to a torpedo unit. How many hours would you need before they are effective? Pilot/crew A will take 200-500 flight hours more before he can get near the enemy, and you can't do that in combat missions (or the guy will die). So you need to train, there's no alternative.
Meanwhile you assign pilot/crew B to a naval search unit. I can't imagine that pilot/crew B will require specific training of 200-500 flight hours before they can do a successful naval search, as they already can do it to a good extent as they are. If they spend 200-500 hours doing naval search flights they will do it better, no doubt, but I fail to see that as being required in the same level as combat missions. I'm also unsure how in-flight training time will be better than actual mission flying time for them to become more experienced.
I think the situation is something similar to the training of pilots for passenger aircrafts. Nowadays it is standard that all of them get a lot of time in the simulator, however good they are. But that's done in simulators, not in flight. I don't recall air companies doing a lot of training flights around to train their pilots, and aerial companies always took training very seriously.
So my doubt is that the current system puts training for non-combat missions in the same way as training for combat missions. Now, if one were to say that training in game for naval search and transport involves more in-class training and less actual flight (i.e., very little supplies used, very few crashes, no engagement with the enemy) then my doubts will evaporate.
< Message edited by fbs -- 5/20/2010 11:36:38 PM >