“With the simulator, we try to teach them how to react according to technical and rational commands”
Examining the Flight Simulator Up Close
Course Cadets Alongside the UH-60 Blackhawk at “Hatzerim” Airbase
Course Cadets Alongside the UH-60 Blackhawk at “Hatzerim” Airbase “Megid” Institute’s Managerial Course visited “Hatzerim” airbase today in order to learn more about the term ‘decision-making’ from the IAF. Beginning with “Flight Academy” and ending with simulators, the managers heard from the people of the force what makes the IAF different from every other organization
Itay Itamar | Photography: Yoni Krotenberg
From the dawn of the day, human beings have been dealing with difficult decisions that have many consequences concerning their personal lives or even an impact on the history of humanity. Even now, heads of organizations and institutes, military commanders and executives in public office make important choices, and they must deal with the consequences and doubt that accompany every major decision.
Dr. Yuval Shoffer is responsible for the decision-making course for managers in public service of the “Megid” Institute. For one day, he took his students on a tour at “Hatzerim” airbase, exposing them to a particular and unconventional shade of decision-making. “The purpose of the visit is to examine how an organization that is funded by the government functions”, explains Dr. Shoffer, “and to understand how such an organization efficiently utilizes its resources in order to train aerial combat fighters”.
Between the walls of the “Flight Academy”, amongst the cadets tittering around the stage and through the red instructional planes flying above, the members of the “Megid” Institution listened to a lecture about the structure of the school and the arduous selection process of air crew members. “Every day, the “Flight Academy” determines the fate of many cadets”, accentuates Dr. Shoffer, who served in the past as the Sociologist of the airbase, and today teaches a course on decision-making to students in the “Pilot Training Course”. “Our job is to locate the cadets who don’t have sufficient capabilities at the early stages, in order to avoid wasting expensive resources with no return later”.
Throughout the lecture many questions are raised in regard to considerations, and how decisions are made in regard to who is allowed to continue in the course. One of the listeners inquires what happens when a mistake is made and someone with great potential is let go.
During the tour the visitors saw an “A-4 Skyhawk” simulator which trains aerial combat fighters on how to make emergency decisions. “If the pilot faces an emergency he could very possibly enter an emotional phase in which fear and intimidation take over”, explains Commander of the Training Unit Major Udi. “With the simulator, we try to teach them how to react according to technical and rational commands”. He compares the simulations to a surprise halt when driving a car: “We want the reaction to be instinctive, a memory reflex of the muscles. The emotions are usually to blame though the brain and the memorized commands get us to the right position”.
The tour ended at ‘Yellow Bird Squadron’ so that the visitors could meet the pilots who went through various stages of the course and finished it. “The operational culture of the IAF is rooted here at the base and in the “Flight Academy”. Here they learn the lingo and what the right way of thinking is. The operational formation of the IAF never stops examining the soldier from the moment that the course begins until the end of his or her career, and that is the difference between the IAF’s way of checking up on an aerial fighter to a civilian employee”.