Act fast but thoughtful and effectively!

A M4B candidate (Commodore ret.) says:

While flying a F-16 fighter aircraft, there is no time for lengthy decision processes. You do not only fly to your destination as airliners normally do, but you also have to control the weapons on board, monitor your formation members, communicate with various agencies, stay out of reach from the enemy air defence systems and constantly adapt to the changing tactical scenarios.

One of the main preconditions for this is to build ‘Situational Awareness'. This means you collect important information by all available systems and with all your senses, to construct the best possible image of your community and your own position within, so you can initiate, execute and set proper and effective actions to your formation members based on that. All this should lead to the optimal, effective and safe use of the weapons entrusted to you, the other pilots in your formation and yourself. The entire pilot training and your future career as a fighter pilot in the Air Force is committed to the process described above to optimize and improve to remain constant during fluctuating conditions.

Naturally, such an everyday working environment also affects the functioning outside the immediate fighter force. As a leader and manager within the Air Force, where the motto "one team, one task" is eminently applicable, you are actually constantly trying to improve and use your 'Situational Awareness’ (SA). This reaches far beyond the Dutch translation of SA can express.

As a strong output-oriented organization challenging objectives are defined within the Air Force, where you as implementation manager should give meaning to: 

  • make sure that, within a week, 6 aircrafts and 100 staff members are deployable operational from an as yet unknown location;
  • become, within a week, an indispensable component of some international headquarters where the planning of all air operations involving is realized;
  • come, within one month, with a plan to reduce the personal strengths of your organization by approximately 20% with no effect on the strength of that unit;
  • ensure, within one year, that your airbase can comply with specific airworthiness requirements and that ISO certification can be achieved;
  • or other similar complex assignments.

Also then, it is necessary to build up SA as quickly as possible in all the relevant boundary conditions. What’s the problem? What is the desired goal? Which resources do I have? To whom should the actions be coordinated with and what are the associated risks? Also the fighter pilot principles are a great advantage: clear objectives, maximum anticipation, make use of your team players and install necessary margins! Obviously, all must be conducted within the available budget, which highly develops your commercial and financial skills.

Intensive interaction with staff elements, other services, government and other external organizations during non-operational detachments during your career develops a good political sense with a clear differentiation between a great goal and task orientation and the importance of the process by which that task is achieved. Again by making full use of the SA construction, interpretation and application.

Foregoing makes clear that (former) Air Force officers can be deployed on many fronts. Within a short time they will build up the necessary SA and expand a strategy to achieve identified goals as a team, taking into account all relevant preconditions and without loss of support among the staff concerned. A highly flexible attitude creates a great resilience and makes sure all efforts are aimed at an optimal path to achieve optimal results, even under pressure and with changing circumstances.

As part of a larger formation, a fighter must operate very effectively taking into account all rapidly changing and threatening operational conditions, but must also land safe in order to perform further missions. The (former) Air Force manager with this broad experience provides this guarantee also in the business!


This candidate is available immediately for controlling complex (aviation) organizations. Has adequate commend of French and has an international network in the Defence industry.