(Kanki, 2010, pp. 452-460) ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007)
In 2006, the guidelines were revised even further with the introduction of Air Crew Coordination Training Enhanced (ACT-E). Under this approach all aviators are given this kind of training from the start of the program. Once they are assigned to a squadron, is when they will have this training further augmented. The way that this takes place, they will have an ACT-E qualified instructor who is focused on their flight checks and procedures. A few of the most notable include: an annual instrument check and the annual flight proficiency check. (Kanki, 2010, pp. 452-460) ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007)
Moreover, instructors must go through an intensive two and half day training program. This is when there will be a focus on a number of concepts to include: how to access training media, providing this kind of assistance to air / ground crews and the implementation of these procedures during all flight checks. The combination of these factors is designed to provide units with qualified instructors and support (who are concentrating on the most effective CRM practices). (Kanki, 2010, pp. 452-460) ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007)
As a result, there is a focus on a number of different principles these include: effective training, evaluation, tasks and coordination. These areas are designed to provide everyone with tools that will improve CRM techniques. In the future, this reduces the total number of CRM related accidents and it improves the ability of the personnel to be successful in achieving a host of operational objectives. (Kanki, 2010, pp. 452-460) ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007) ("Commanders Air Crew Training Program," 2009)
In the case of training, there will be a focus on a number of different areas to include: qualification, mission, continuation, tasks and annual CRBRN requirements. Qualification is ensuring that air crews are meeting basic standards for flight training (i.e. initial aircraft qualification, academic and flight training). Mission is concentrating is looking at the ability to perform specific missions and achieve additional tasks. Continuation training will take place on a semiannual basis. During this process, there is a focus on a number of areas to include at least 48 hours of updates. Tasks are when the air crew must meet predetermined requirements that will decide their ability to adjust with a host of challenges. CBRN requirements take place when crews must meet predetermined objectives in the event of one of these weapons being utilized inside a theater of operations. This includes concentrating on number of area such as: performing pre-flight inspections, maintaining airspace surveillance, hover power checks, hovering flight checks and conducting visual checks on meteorological factors during takeoff / landing. These different elements are showing how training has been receiving tremendous amounts of emphasis in order to improve communication and collaboration among air crews. (Kanki, 2010, pp. 452-460) ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007) ("Commanders Air Crew Training Program," 2009) (Watt, 2009)
Evaluation is when there is a focus on understanding how much of the information the air crew was able to understand. This is accomplished in a series of four different phases to include: the introduction, academic evaluation, flight evaluation and debriefing. The introduction is when the pilot will have their flight records evaluated to ensure that they are meeting the basic requirements for all air crews. The academic evaluation is focuses on how well someone is able to understand key CRM concepts. These include: ATP requirements, crew coordination, air space regulations / usage, flight plan preparation / filing, IMC procedures, weight / balance requirements, DOD flight information / maps and visual flight / instrument rules (just to name a few). The flight evaluation is when instructors will determine how effective an aviator is in applying these concepts while using the aircraft. During this process, there is a focus on a number of different areas to include: the mission briefing, preflight inspection, flight tasks and engine shutdown. The debriefing is when the evaluator will discuss: the individuals strengths / weaknesses, offers recommendations for improvement and discusses if the person passed or failed the examination. These different elements are designed to ensure that everyone is following the basic policies and procedures established by CRM practices. ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007) ("Commanders Air Crew Training Program," 2009)
Tasks are examining the proper skills that must be utilized for maintaining effective CRM practices. As there is a focus on a number of different areas to include: the title, conditions, standards, description, considerations and training / evaluating requirements. The title identifies the measureable activities air crews must be concentrating on. The conditions are the tasks for the aircraft to include: common and special circumstances. Standards are describing the minimums amounts of deficiency for completing the tasks. Descriptions are the preferred methods that are utilized when completing different tasks such as: the crew's actions and their ability to adjust. Considerations are looking at different factors involved in achieving different mission objectives to include: the use of night vision equipment, environmental / weather related conditions and terrain. The training / evaluation requirements will take place by determining what kind of modules will be used during this process (i.e. within the aircraft, on a simulator or in an actual environment). The combination of these factors is important in providing a basic background for evaluating and understanding how well an air crew is embracing CRM principles. ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007) ("Commanders Air Crew Training Program," 2009) (Grub, 2010)
Coordination is when the crew is working together to address a host of objectives by collaborating with each other on various challenges. During this process, there is a focus on a number of different areas to include: communicating positively, direct assistance, announcing actions, acknowledging actions, providing aircraft control / obsoleted advisories and coordinating sequences / timing. Communicating positively is when there is effective interaction between crew members. Direct assistance, takes places when the crew will work with each other to address different challenges that will occur during flight and on missions. Announcing actions will occur with the different individuals communicating their intentions to each other. Offering assistance will happen by troubleshooting problems and working with others to prevent them from becoming worse. Acknowledging actions takes place when everyone is communicating with each other and they are providing effective feedback. Providing aircraft control / obsolete advisories examines how to effectively fly the airplane / helicopter and update the crew about changes in technology. Coordinating action sequences / timing is concentrating on how everyone is interacting with each other. This will be accomplished by focusing on: the interaction, sequence and timing of machine / crew. These different elements are showing how coordination can help to improve the ability of air crews to effectively work with each other. ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007) ("Commanders Air Crew Training Program," 2009) (Grub, 2010)
Once this takes place, is when the total number of CRM related accidents will decline. This is the point that aviators will be more effective in achieving complicated objectives. At the same time, they can continually adjust with a host of challenges they will face during the process. What helps to improve their ability to address these issues, is by everyone working together to achieve the larger mission and operational goals. ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007) ("Commanders Air Crew Training Program," 2009) (Grub, 2010)
As a result, the CRM practices have reduced the total number of aviation incidents inside the U.S. Army. Evidence can be seen in the below table which is highlighting the number of accidents for the various branches of the U.S. military in comparison with CRM related events.
Impact of CRM Related Policies on the U.S. Army
Navy / Marines
(Kanki, 2010, pg. 445)
These figures are showing how the CRM initiatives of the U.S. Army are reducing the total number of accidents and it improving their safety records. At the same time, it is helping to provide everyone with more effective tools for achieving a host of operational objectives.
Civilian Commercial Aviation vs. U.S. Army Aviation
When comparing the civilian aviation industry with the U.S. Army, it is clear that there is a focus on a number of different areas to include: establishing / maintaining strong relationships, supporting efficient workloads, effectively exchanging information, maintaining situational awareness, and to provide assistance. While the U.S. Army; is concentrating on: effective training, evaluation, tasks and coordination. These different elements are showing how there are differences in the CRM practices that are utilized. This is because the mission and objectives of U.S. Army aviators are different in comparison with the civilian sector. These include: the continuous transfer of key personnel in / out of different units, it is not a homogenous organization, the complexity of missions and there are a series of occupations / specialties. This means that the Army will focus on: training, cooperation, communication, adjusting with different operational objectives and troubleshooting a number of issues. This is different…