Concepts & Programs HomeProgramsFocus Area 4: Modernization & TechnologyPart 5: AviationAviation Training System

The inside of the cockpit of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Full Mission Simulator accurately replicates all sensors and weapons to provide a realistic mission rehearsal and training environment for pilots. (Courtesy Photo/Released)

02.08.2016Photo by 94th Airlift Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point


Today’s dynamic operational environment requires Marine Aviation to focus its training more effectively and efficiently in order to sustain the highest levels of combat readiness. ATS integrates Marine Aviation training processes and structures into a single, unified, and holistic system that spans all aviation communities. ATS is a completely integrated training system that links training cost with readiness in order to provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commander with combat-ready units.


ATS integrates and coordinates policy, manpower, equipment, facilities, and fiscal requirements of post-initial accession training for Marine Aviation officers and enlisted personnel. The system also integrates initial accession aircrew training (Core Skill Introduction) for aviation units that conduct platform specific aviation training (for example, the Fleet Replacement Squadron [FRS] for the MV-22B aircraft). ATS concepts, processes, and programs are applicable to all current and future Marine Aviation training programs, including naval and/or joint programs in which Marine Aviation participates.


ATS will integrate concepts, processes, and programs for training that will institutionalize operational excellence reflected in increased combat readiness, decreased costs of training, and preservation of personnel and assets. ATS seeks to provide a current, responsive, holistic, and relevant training system for aircrew, aircraft maintenance, aviation ground support, and aviation C2 personnel. The training system includes curriculum, courseware, and training devices. ATS also strives to maintain relevant and concurrent equipment/platform training through Systems Approach to Training (SAT) derived curricula and improved use of Operational Risk Management (ORM), Crew Resource Management (CRM), and Risk Resource Management (RRM) as methods used to manage and mitigate risks through its Marine Aviation Training System Sites (MATSS) located aboard Marine Corps Air Stations (MCAS) to assist in facilitating the ATS program.


Training Management occurs through the use of tools and processes that provide a common training experience across the ATS, regardless of station, platform, and/or system. Elements that support the management and integration of training information are Training Management Process (TMP) and Marine Corps Aviation Learning Management System (MCALMS). The TMP provides an effective forum for the operating forces to identify their training issues as the impetus for requirements generation. The TMP determines common solutions to training issues, eliminating redundant “stovepipe” solutions that are wasteful and inefficient. MCALMS is the method of delivery for academic courseware that allows for record keeping of completion across multiple communities/platforms.

Flight Leadership Standardization and Evaluation (FLSE) is process of training toward and achieving certifications, qualifications, and designations with objective assessment of individual and instruction program effectiveness under ATS. FLSE training and evaluation supports commanders by integrating and improving existing flight leadership, combat leadership, Naval Aviation Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS), and NATOPS instrument programs. Standardization of training systems is facilitated by managing the concurrency of training systems with that of equipment/aircraft used by Marine Aviation personnel. This is accomplished through several process of acceptance of training courseware/system. Risk management and mitigation is controlled through awareness training (i.e., ORM, CRM, and RRM).

Advancements in training devices allow for expansion of experience through exposure to real world scenarios, and require aircrew to exercise risk management skills without exposing the aircrew or aircraft to undue hazards and risks of actual loss. The MATSS provides a venue that supports the instruction of the academic portions of risk management, aviation safety programs, and Training and Readiness (T&R) prescribed training by experienced instructors. All facets of training, basic, operational, safety, standardization, and risk management are integral foundations of ATS and their principles are reinforced during all phases of training.

Marine Aviation Training System Sites

Implementation and operational control of ATS occurs at each Marine Air Wing (MAW). It is the management efforts by each MAW that ensures its units have those tools necessary to accomplished prescribed training. The management of resources includes military, civilian, and contractor instructional services, simulator and training device operations and maintenance, learning and training management systems, academic courseware (to include revision and maintenance), electronic classrooms, and appropriate physical and/or cybersecurity requirements.

The MATSS facilitates simulator and academic resource use, standardization and evaluation, and training relevant and responsive to fleet needs. With increased USMC and joint-level awareness for ATS, leveraging common solutions across the various platforms, communities, and services will result in significant cost savings, enhanced cross-functional/ cross-service training, increased combat readiness, and cost avoidance/savings in training the Aviation Combat Element and MAGTF.