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CHAPTER NINE
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY
Preparation for Training
You fight like you train! Thorough preparation for lectures and briefs is essential during BFM.
This FTI should be the first source of training. The BFM lectures will make more sense to the
student who has previously read this FTI. While this is true for every phase in the training
command, the complexity of the maneuvers and dynamics of BFM make solid study particularly
valuable.
Aggressiveness
The desire to be offensive in a fight and aggressively gain superiority over opponents is a quality
that absolutely must be present in any aircrew tasked to destroy other aircraft. Without an
adequate dose of aggressiveness, the chances of success in an air-to-air engagement are nil. You
must, however, learn to temper your aggressiveness with solid headwork.
Knowledge/Progress
Knowledge will be gained through training and study. In VT-86, a building block approach will
be used. A mechanical approach to air-to-air tactics will at first be necessary, but the spatial
picture should form quickly as your experience increases. The successful student will gain the
ability to visualize the constantly changing parameters of air-to-air maneuvers.
During the later half of the BFM syllabus, the student will have the opportunity to practice and
refine the BFM skills presented. Gradually, student responsibility and control of the
engagements will be increased during this phase of training.
904. TACTICAL ROLE OF THE NFO
During BFM training in VT-86, the student will be trained to the point that they will be given
complete tactical control of the air-to-air engagements. While the IPs will always serve as the
aircraft commander and safety observer, the training objective is to have the student direct every
facet of a dogfight utilizing directive communications and crew coordination. In the fleet, the
NFO's role will become more specialized depending upon the weapons system of their aircraft.
Weapons System Operator
The complexity and sophistication of many modern aircraft place demands on the pilot, which
can be too great for them to maintain safety of flight and still effectively employ the weapons
systems. To alleviate this problem, a second person is placed in the aircraft with the specific
mission of providing expertise in the operation and tactical utilization of the aircraft's weapon
system.
Lookout doctrine
For fighters, the extra set of eyes of an NFO provides a quantum advantage when compared to
single seat aircraft. In air-to-air work, many of the initial tallyhos are obtained by the NFO.
9-2
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY


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