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An entity whether an individual or an organization that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby "get inside" the opponent's decision cycle and gain the advantage. Boyd developed the concept to explain how to direct one's energies to defeat an adversary and survive.

Boyd emphasized that "the loop" is actually a set of interacting loops that are to be kept in continuous operation during combat. He also indicated that the phase of the battle has an important bearing on the ideal allocation of one's energies. Boyd's diagram shows that all decisions are based on observations of the evolving situation tempered with implicit filtering of the problem being addressed. The observations are the raw information on which decisions and actions are based. The observed information must be processed to orient it for decision making. The second O, orientation—as the repository of our genetic heritage , cultural tradition, and previous experiences—is the most important part of the O-O-D-A loop since it shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act.

As stated by Boyd and shown in the "Orient" box, there is much filtering of the information through our culture, genetics, ability to analyze and synthesize, and previous experience. Since the OODA loop was designed to describe a single decision maker, the situation is usually much more complex than shown, as most business and technical decisions have a team of people observing and orienting, each bringing their own cultural traditions, genetics, experience and other information.

It is here that decisions often get stuck, which does not lead to winning, because:. In order to win, we should operate at a faster tempo or rhythm than our adversaries—or, better yet, get inside [the] adversary's Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action time cycle or loop Such activity will make us appear ambiguous unpredictable thereby generate confusion and disorder among our adversaries—since our adversaries will be unable to generate mental images or pictures that agree with the menacing, as well as faster transient rhythm or patterns, they are competing against.

The OODA loop, which focuses on strategic military requirements, was adapted for business and public sector operational continuity planning. The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or destroy his awareness.

Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or under-react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible. The OODA loop also serves to explain the nature of surprise and shaping operations in a way that unifies Gestalt psychology , cognitive science and game theory in a comprehensive theory of strategy.

Utility theory the basis of game theory describes how decisions are made based on the perceived value of taking an action. The OODA loop shows that prior to making a decision the decide phase , the person will first have to get information observe and determine what it means to him and what he can do about it orient. In this way, the utility sought at the decide phase can be altered by affecting the information the opponent receives and the cognitive model he applies when orienting upon it. He funnels the inevitable chaos of the battlefield in the direction of the enemy.

Consider a fighter pilot being scrambled to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Before the enemy airplane is even within visual range, the pilot will consider any available information about the likely identity of the enemy pilot—the nationality, level of training, and cultural traditions that may come into play. When the enemy aircraft comes into radar contact, more direct information about the speed, size, and maneuverability of the enemy plane becomes available; unfolding circumstances take priority over radio chatter.

A first decision is made based on the available information so far: The pilot decides to "get into the sun" above his opponent, and acts by applying control inputs to climb. Back to observation —is the attacker reacting to the change of altitude? Then comes orient : Is the enemy reacting characteristically, or perhaps acting like a noncombatant?

Is his plane exhibiting better-than-expected performance? As the dogfight begins, little time is devoted to orienting unless some new information pertaining to the actual identity or intent of the attacker comes into play. Information cascades in real time, and the pilot does not have time to process it consciously; the pilot reacts as he is trained to, and conscious thought is directed to supervising the flow of action and reaction, continuously repeating the OODA cycle.

Simultaneously, the opponent is going through the same cycle. One of John Boyd's primary insights in fighter combat was that it is vital to change speed and direction faster than the opponent. This may interfere with an opponent's OODA cycle. It is not necessarily a function of the plane's ability to maneuver, but the pilot must think and act faster than the opponent can think and act. Getting "inside" the cycle, short-circuiting the opponent's thinking processes, produces opportunities for the opponent to react inappropriately.

In these instances I considered myself fortunate to survive a battle. Of my 21 victories, 17 were against Zeros, and I lost five aircraft in combat. I was shot down three times and I crashed one that ploughed into the line back at base and wiped out another F4U. They were soon given their full complement of 24 F4U Corsairs. On 26 March , while escorting four B bombers on a raid over Ponape, they recorded their first enemy kills, downing eight Japanese aircraft. Since the assault was unopposed, the squadron quickly returned to striking Japanese targets in the Marshall Islands for the remainder of Nightfighter versions equipped Navy and Marine units afloat and ashore.

One particularly unusual kill was scored by Marine Lieutenant R.

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Klingman was in pursuit of a Kawasaki Ki Toryu "Nick" twin-engine fighter at high altitude when his guns jammed due to the gun lubrication thickening from the extreme cold. He flew up and chopped off the Ki's tail with the big propeller of the Corsair.

OODA LOOP: What You Can Learn from Fighter Pilots About Making Fast and Accurate Decisions

He was awarded the Navy Cross. At war's end, Corsairs were ashore on Okinawa , combating the kamikaze , and also were flying from fleet and escort carriers. Since Corsairs were being operated from shore bases, while still awaiting approval for U. A second option was to remove the folding mechanism in the field using a kit, which could be done for Vought and Brewster Corsairs as well. Corsair squadrons operating from land bases were authorized to remove catapult hooks, arresting hooks, and associated equipment, which eliminated 48 pounds of unnecessary weight.

Corsairs also served well as fighter-bombers in the Central Pacific and the Philippines. By early , Marine pilots were beginning to exploit the type's considerable capabilities in the close-support role in amphibious landings. Charles Lindbergh flew Corsairs with the Marines as a civilian technical advisor for United Aircraft Corporation in order to determine how best to increase the Corsair's payload and range in the attack role and to help evaluate future viability of single- versus twin-engine fighter design for Vought.

By the beginning of , the Corsair was a full-blown "mudfighter", performing strikes with high-explosive bombs, napalm tanks, and HVARs. It proved versatile, able to operate everything from Bat glide bombs to In November , while operating as a shore-based unit in the Solomon Islands, VF reinstalled the tail hooks so its F4Us could land and refuel while providing top cover over the task force participating in the carrier raid on Rabaul. Navy did not get into combat with the type until September Navy finally accepted the F4U for shipboard operations in April , after the longer oleo strut was fitted, which eliminated the tendency to bounce.

They were accompanied by VMF The increasing need for fighter protection against kamikaze attacks resulted in more Corsair units being moved to carriers. The Royal Navy hurriedly adopted higher-performance single-seat aircraft such as the Hawker Sea Hurricane and the less robust Supermarine Seafire , but neither aircraft had sufficient range to operate at a distance from a carrier task force.

The Corsair was welcomed as a more robust and versatile alternative. The first squadrons were assembled and trained on the U. East Coast and then shipped across the Atlantic. The Royal Navy put the Corsair into carrier operations immediately. They found its landing characteristics dangerous, suffering a number of fatal crashes, but considered the Corsair to be the best option they had. Navy aviators, thanks to the curved approach they used: British units solved the landing visibility problem by approaching the carrier in a medium left-hand turn, which allowed the pilot to keep the carrier's deck in view over the anhedral in the left wing root.

This technique was later adopted by U.

Vought F4U Corsair

Navy and Marine fliers for carrier use of the Corsair. The Royal Navy developed a number of modifications to the Corsair that made carrier landings more practical. Navy and showed that the Corsair Mk II could be operated with reasonable success even from escort carriers.


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It was not without problems; one was excessive wear of the arrester wires, due both to the weight of the Corsair and the understandable tendency of the pilots to stay well above the stalling speed. A total of 2, Corsairs were supplied to the United Kingdom. At the end of the war, 18 FAA squadrons were operating the Corsair. British Corsairs served both in Europe and in the Pacific. In July and August , Corsair naval squadrons , , , and took part in a series of strikes on the Japanese mainland, near Tokyo. These squadrons operated from Victorious and Formidable.

The British did likewise, starting with a simple paintover with white paint, of their "Type C" roundel's red center, at about the time the U. Navy removed the red-center from their roundel. Later, a shade of slate gray center color replaced the white color on the earlier roundel.

Hazard 2: Failure to Bury the Competition

The American government accordingly decided to give New Zealand early access to the Corsair, especially as it was not initially being used from carriers. Sixty FG-1Ds arrived late in the war. From April, these workshops became responsible for assembling all Corsairs for the RNZAF units operating the aircraft in the South West Pacific; and a Test and Despatch flight was set up to test the aircraft after assembly.

By June , Corsairs had been assembled and test flown. Because each of the SUs painted its aircraft with distinctive markings [85] and the aircraft themselves could be repainted in several different color schemes, the RNZAF Corsairs were far less uniform in appearance than their American and FAA contemporaries. By the time the Corsairs arrived, there were very few Japanese aircraft left in New Zealand's allocated sectors of the Southern Pacific, and despite the RNZAF squadrons extending their operations to more northern islands, they were primarily used for close support of American, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers fighting the Japanese.

At the end of , all Corsair squadrons but one No. That last squadron was based in Japan, until the Corsair was retired from service in It flew in company with a Fairey Barracuda. The pilot, Lt Mattholie, was taken prisoner and the aircraft captured undamaged. Luftwaffe interrogators failed to get the pilot to explain how to fold the wings so as to transport the aircraft to Narvik. The Corsair was ferried by boat for further investigation. Later the Corsair was taken to Germany and listed as one of the captured enemy aircraft Beuteflugzeug based at Erprobungsstelle Rechlin , the central German military aviation test facility and the equivalent of the Royal Aircraft Establishment , for under repair.

This was probably the only Corsair captured by the Germans. In , U. The Japanese had repaired it, covering damaged parts on the wing with fabric and using spare parts from crashed F4Us. It seems Japan captured two force-landed Corsairs fairly late in the war and may have even tested one in flight.

During the Korean War, the Corsair was used mostly in the close-support role. In turn, four MiGs shot down Folmar minutes later; Folmar bailed out and was quickly rescued with little injury. F4U-5N and -5NL Corsair night fighters were used to attack enemy supply lines, including truck convoys and trains, as well as interdicting night attack aircraft such as the Polikarpov Po-2 "Bedcheck Charlies", which were used to harass United Nations forces at night. The F4Us often operated with the help of C 'flare ships' which dropped hundreds of 1,, candlepower magnesium flares to illuminate the targets.

Navy F4U-5Ns were posted to shore bases. More generally, Corsairs performed attacks with cannons, napalm tanks, various iron bombs, and unguided rockets.