The Administration And Evaluation Of An F-4 Weapon Systems Officer Lead-In Training Program In The United States Air Force

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


The purpose of the study is to evaluate the F-4 Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) Lead-In Training program's design and administration to see to what extent it provides adequate and relevant training to meet the need of students entering F-4 upgrade training. Three approaches to Lead-In Training were contrasted and analyzed using academic scores, simulator and flying completion rates, and graduate evaluation feedback as indicators of students' performance during upgrade training.The investigation was designed and data were collected to answer the following general questions which were subsequently restated as research hypotheses and statistically examined at the 0.05 level of significance: (1) Did the 43 training day WSO Lead-In Training course taught at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, during 1981 provide students the entry level skills required to successfully complete F-4 upgrade training? (2) Was students' performance during F-4 upgrade training adversely affected when the Holloman course was reduced to ten training days? (3) Does the 15 training day WSO Lead-In Training course developed and implemented at Homestead AFB, Florida, in addition to the ten-day flying course at Holloman, provide students the entry level skills required to successfully complete F-4 upgrade training? (4) Was there a significant change in the product of the F-4 upgrade training program, as perceived by supervisors in the field, between 1981 and 1983?The findings indicate that both the 43 and 15 day courses provide significantly better preparation than the reduced flying course alone. There was no significant difference between the performance of students who attended the 43 or 15 day courses.The study concluded that a fighter Lead-In Training program is necessary for student Weapon Systems Officers to gain the entry level skills necessary to successfully complete F-4 upgrade training within current time and mission constraints. The 43 training day course provided adequate entry level skills. However, the 15 training day course developed and implemented through the Instructional System Development process provided equivalent training in less time and at lower cost. Finally, the product of F-4 upgrade training, as evaluated by field supervisors, remained constant regardless of the Lead-In Training program students had completed.


Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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