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Strategy and Training by Philippe Korda

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Chapter 2

The Straight and Narrow Path to Excellence

Training Leads to Expertise, If and Only If …

In 1968, the Vietnam War was at its height. The United States had committed two of its great armed forces to the aerial combat. On average, the consistently excellent US Air Force shot down two enemy aircrafts for every one lost. The US Navy was finding life more difficult, seeing its success rate decline from an identical two-to-one ratio to a poor near parity within 2 years.

The US Navy had to respond. Near San Diego, California, it set up a revolutionary new training institution, the Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as “Top Gun” and popularized by the film of the same name. Aerial combat was halted for a year, as training got under ...

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