I/ITSEC Air Force Leadership Forum insights from Gen. David W. Allvin, US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff. Group Editor Marty Kauchak attended.

Pilot Training Next is one of the air service’s strategies to accelerate the initial qualification of pilots for further accession into follow-on training pipelines. The Air Force’s second senior officer told I/ITSEC delegates the Pilot Training PTN in less time.” Allvin emphasized PTN is introducing different instructional strategies into the pilot training system, including more individualized training, the insertion of more simulation and less flying. Another PTN outcome is to better and more accurately pair pilots with their initial career assignments and communities – bomber, air transport, fast-jet, and others.     

Allvin also raised the issue of how to best use AI for training and education – a proposition whose journey is just beginning. “The opportunity is exciting. The timeline is closer than you think or imagine.” As instructional designers and others mature this enabler for learning, Allvin added the imperative to follow the outcomes of current US DoD initiatives to determine how to use AI across the department enterprise. The four-star general added, “We have to use AI responsibly – with ethics. We need to ask plenty of questions upfront.” 

And there are the trials and challenges of enacting the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, echoing messages in the Nov. 28 Congressional M&S Caucus meeting. Allvin estimated the impact of not having a new budget costs the Pentagon about $3 billion/month. “This is across the enterprise. We won’t be able to keep up with inflation and there will be no new program start-ups,” he warned. As of this article’s submission the FY 2023 defense spending bill had not been signed by President Biden. 

The Air Force vice commander encouraged delegates to become aware of the “accelerate change or lose” strategy circulating among Pentagon Air Force offices. He emphasized the human element in the strategy and the importance to link and connect training and education to operations. He encouraged industry to “create realistic training. We can’t think about ‘the real Air Force’ while in classes and schools. There must be cutting-edge training and education from Day 1.”

Finally, Allvin spoke of the importance to include diversity in service programs – to allow the Air Force to overcome recruiting challenges and gain the best and brightest from across the US. “We must also recognize the importance of individualized training – people learn differently. We must get the most out of them.” he concluded