With U.S. military services looking to alleviate shortages of pilots and publicly admitting shortages in readiness, the Navy, Marines, and Air Force have begun to contract out some kinds of pilot training specifically the live simulation of enemy aircraft. This trend, coupled with the worldwide rise in available military jets as air forces modernize, has led to the emergence of a new private industry offering adversary air combat training. What is adversary air combat training?
Before the Vietnam War, American air forces trained internally, with pilots flying against others in similar aircraft using the same tactics. During that war, however, the United States learned a great deal about modern adversary tactics and the capabilities of the (mainly Soviet) aircraft employed in that war, which often differed markedly from what had been experienced in prewar training. To spread those lessons and train pilots more realistically, the U.S. Air Force and Navy began formal programs of Dissimilar Air Combat Training, or DACT.