As the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Hornets age, their pilots and aircrews must relearn what they've been taught and be especially vigilant against dangerous complacency.
In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote: "It is a common mistake in going to war to begin at the wrong end, to act first, and wait for disasters to discuss the matter." Such was apparently the case in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Thomas H. Moorer directed the creation of the U.S. Naval Fighter Weapons School in response to poor tactical performance in the skies over Vietnam. After heavy aircraft losses and only achieving "about one kill for every ten firing attempts," the Navy conducted an investigation into air-to-air combat performance. The study found inadequate aircrew training to be a major factor. 1