Talon M. Pope

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Jason R. Anderson, PhD


The United States Air Force (USAF) is currently facing a 2,400-pilot shortage in an increasingly constrained budgetary environment. Without pilots to engage the enemy, deliver weapons, and provide logistics support for operations, the USAF could lose the ability to fly, fight, and win global engagements and defend the homeland. This study focused on Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) as a means of producing the USAF’s pilots to offset the current shortage. Specifically, this study compared UPT to the recently initiated Pilot Training-Next (PTN) program through a cost-benefit analysis. Like any new technology integration, PTN’s virtual reality training will require further study for proofing and justification prior to full-scale implementation and further utilization of constrained USAF resources. This study’s use of extant financial and historical production data, coupled with interviews with PTN instructors, highlights the potential of PTN. Ultimately, this study’s cost-benefit analysis uniquely contributes to the growing body of virtual reality training research through a Formula for Change theoretical lens, while simultaneously providing USAF decision makers a comparison of program costs, projected production capacity, and quality of training.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number