Four fighter pilots from the U.S.
13th Fighter Squadron won a world wide combat simulation competition last
month. The "Turkey Shoot"
competition had pilots using flight simulators, not actual aircraft, to attempt
carrying out attacks against seemingly impossible odds. Over 300 missions were
flown, using flight simulators in American air bases all over the world.
simulators were linked electronically so that some pilots could act as the
enemy, against the teams trying to get through and win the competition. This
technology began development in the U.S. military over three decades ago, and
is now widely used in all the services. If this exercise had been flown in
actual aircraft, it would have cost over $9 billion (fuel, spare parts and
scenario in a Turkey Shoot competition has a heavy bomber and several fighters trying to penetrate heavy
enemy SAM (surface to air missile) and fighter defenses. The teams must carefully
plan their attack, and then try to make all the right moves in order to get the
smart bombs on the target. It's excellent training, because of the realism, and
the competition angle. The winner was only slightly ahead, in points, of two other teams.
these exercises are kept secret, as they often consist of new tactics and
techniques that worked better than expected. Such information losses a lot of
its usefulness if potential enemies find out about it.