Competence Retention in Military Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (HUET)
Helicopter aircrew from Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) get Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (HUET) in order to be prepared for escaping the aircraft when ditching into water. Besides knowledge and skills how to escape, self-confidence is an important learning goal in HUET, especially because the underwater events are experienced as stressful. As in other (international) military organizations, the frequency of refresher training depends on the expected degree of retention, but is not based yet on evidence-based research. In a first study, retrospective questionnaires were filled in by 132 military helicopter aircrew who followed the HUET (Bottenheft et al., 2019). The aircrew reported increasing, self-assessed competence levels with the number of refresher courses followed. They also gave their opinion on the preferred refresher interval: the interval should decrease over time when their competence level becomes higher. A follow-up study was started three years ago in order to get real evidence on competence retention. In total, 357 military pilots and other aircrew were assessed by instructors, they assessed themselves and rated their self-confidence in all initial and refresher HUET courses followed over a period of three years. The results confirm the findings of the first study but now based on evidence collected during the courses. A ignificant positive relation was found between the number of refresher courses followed, their competence level over time (assessed by instructors and by themselves), and selfconfidence. Additional, exploratory physiological data (heart rate) were collected for a subset of participants, which show a relationship with self-confidence as well.
Helicopter Underwater Egress Training
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61th International Military Testing Association Conference, 7-11 October Tallin, Estonia
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