Presented to: Major James E. Griffin and Lt. Col. Michael E. Peet
Citation: For significant and enduring contributions and exceptional navigational expertise in transforming Joint Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training, ensuring production of the world’s preeminent combat systems officers.
Throughout the Air Force, there is recognition that navigator training program changes are overdue. The current program has remained relatively static throughout the years, even though navigator duties have changed significantly. Navigators have become more increasingly oriented towards mission accomplishment, with aircraft position monitoring decreasing. Air Force leadership noted current air operations dictate a completely different training program to truly equip future navigators as warfighters.
General Jumper, chief of staff of the Air Force (CSAF), asked General Cook, AETC Commander, to redesign the navigator and electronic warfare officer training pipeline to produce an aviator who meets emerging Air Force needs. The cornerstone of this initiative is a redesigned flight and ground training pipeline that produces aviators skilled in advanced navigation systems, electronic warfare, weapons employment, and able to operate the complex systems so critical to the Air Force mission. Gen. Jumper named this future aviator the Combat Systems Officer (CSO).
Lt. Col. Peet and Maj. Griffin embraced CSAF's vision to modernize the training pipeline. They transformed the requirements into specific training events. Additionally, they bridged cultural differences with the U.S. Navy and forged a consolidated interservice training program that met the needs of both services. Resolving programmatic issues, Lt. Col. Peet won AETC/CC approval to present his plan at Corona Fall '03. General Jumper approved the plan and directed AETC to work towards implementation and pursue resources.
Once the training pipeline is fully implemented, the CSO will be a new and different breed of navigator. Graduates will have a level of knowledge that normally can be obtained only through years of operational experience.
CSO training offers a wider range of specialties and puts increased emphasis on filling warfighter requirements. Broad training elements—including electronic warfare, weapons employment and use of advanced communications systems—will meet the chief's vision of the future aviator.
Recognizing the importance of immediately implementing the core of the CSO program, Lt. Col. Peet and Maj. Griffin formed a working group to immediately redesign the Randolph AFB training program. The group designed and implemented a program that utilizes current legacy systems, but instills more CSO qualities. This plan partially fulfills the chief's vision in the near term without major investment in training devices. The program increased the amount of electronic warfare training for all, and introduced weapons employment training. These modifi cations will form the basis for the long-term program and will be carried forward for use with new training platforms. CSO training will produce versatile aviators with the competencies and attributes to meet future warfighter requirements. It is a radical departure from the traditional navigator training program and will revolutionize career potential.
Major James E. Griffin is currently assigned as command electronic warfare officer and combat systems officer program manager, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
He entered the Air Force in 1983. His operational assignments include duty as a RC-135 instructor and evaluator electronic warfare offi cer. While at Offutt AFB, Maj. Griffin was standardization/evaluation flight crew commander, RC-135U combat sent flight commander and deputy chief of the RC-135 Combat Crew Training School. Maj. Griffin also served as an instructor in the electronic warfare office, flight commander, chief instructor training school, and assistant director of operations for scheduling and instructor training for the Electronic Warfare Officer Training School.
In 1993, Maj. Griffin was selected for duty at HQ AETC where he managed the acquisition of the state-of-the-art training device, the T-25 simulator for electronic combat training, which is used today for EWO training.
Lt. Col. Michael E. Peet is currently assigned as commander, 30th Student Squadron, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Lt. Col. Peet entered the Air Force in 1987. He began operational duty at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. While stationed there, he upgraded to instructor, and supported numerous operational deployments, including “Operation Desert Shield” and “Desert Storm.” In 1993 he was part of the lead cadre that stood-up the training squadron at Altus Air Force Base as part of the transformation of Air Mobility Command. Lt. Col. Peet was chief nav in standardization/evaluation flight, scheduling flight commander, and assistant operations officer.
Lt. Col. Peet then transitioned to Randolph Air Force Base in 2001, where he held position of branch chief in the Initial Aircrew Training Branch of the Directorate of Operations.