Managing effective defense training programs is a complex undertaking – so many elements must be considered and so many people and resources are involved. Once a military organization has set its training objectives it can then define the plan of action, which goes far beyond creating the course material and deciding who will present it. A successful training program depends upon many elements, including instructor availability, physical resource availability such as suitable classrooms, simulators, and/or online resources, proper evaluation tools, and so much more.
Ensuring high-quality course content and proper logistics and timing are critical, but other factors are often sidelined. Let’s look at some of the qualitative challenges that affect military training programs, focusing on four essential factors:
1. Situational Awareness
Anyone managing military training programs must have the full picture – the entire program, including the status of the trainees, resources and milestones and many other factors.
Some of the main considerations include:
- Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the trainees
- Identifying common training errors and how to avoid them
- Resources – ensuring that the required resources are available so that the training can be completed on time
While all units aim for a successful program, those responsible for many squadrons need to ensure that all groups receive similar training. Commanders can then be assured that anyone who has passed a program is qualified and is also able to transfer to a similar group if required, since they have undergone a similar training experience.
Some of the factors that will enable standardization are:
- Use the same system to manage all processes and activities related to training
- Institute standardized and consistent instructor grading processes at the level of a single unit or training operation
- Consolidate and standardize cadet and trainee performance data so it is accessible from a single location
Effective military and technical training entails theory and especially practice. Here are a few guidelines to enable more successful outcomes:
- For training to be effective, use the most suitable tools for the task at hand
- Providing instant feedback on online test results, while everything is still fresh in the student’s mind
- Ensure proper scheduling of simulator sessions with the required resources – include specific features that are not applicable for instructor led classroom-based training
Promote efficiency by adopting a few guidelines:
- Use the best tool for each task – just like it’s not wise to run a marathon in high heels, it’s not efficient to use spreadsheets for complex scheduling assignments
- Incorporate automation for repetitive tasks – this frees up teams to focus on other tasks and reduces error-prone re-entering of data
- Integrate with systems that contain constantly update the information required for training operations, like HR or mandated LMS systems
For a deeper dive into these topics, and more about the system and processes that improve military aviation training, watch our recent webinar: