In the midst of the Vietnam war the US Navy and US Air Force both introduced some amazing new technology including the brand new air superiority fighter, the Phantom F-4. The F-4 had an amazing thrust advantage for fighters at the time and it was thought that internal cannons (machine guns) would not be necessary because combat a close range would no longer occur due to relatively new long range heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles.
Technology Can Solve Problems
The thinking was that the supersonic age was here and these new missiles would be able to destroy the enemy from beyond visual range because combat fighting was at such high speeds. Due to the far standoff that was now possible fighter pilots were no longer trained in aerial combat maneuvering (dog fighting) because those skills were no longer necessary. Fighter pilots would be able to rely on new technology to accomplish their mission goals.
What's the Problem?
By 1986 the Navy and Air Force realized they were losing lots of these advanced fighters to less advanced sub-sonic Soviet MiG fighters so they launched a study to figure out why. The Air Force concluded it was a technology issue because many of the missiles were failing and most of their aircraft were being shot down from unseen enemy fighters. The Navy came to a different conclusion. The Navy's research pointed to the problem stemming from inadequate pilot training in air combat maneuvering.
Within a year the US Navy established United States Navy Fighter Weapons School at NAS Miramar more popularly known as TOPGUN. Select air crews were brought to NAS Miramar to learn and refine dog fighting techniques. Around the same time air operations in Vietnam stopped for about 2 years, but when air combat operations started again the first graduates of TOPGUN had returned to their units and the results were dramatic.
Before air operations ceased in 1968 Navy loss to kill ratio was as low as 1:2 - losing 1 advanced fighter for every 2 kills of enemy fighters. When operations resumed the loss to kill ratio climbed to 1:13 while the Air Force loss to kill ratio continued to plummet. The true benefit of TOPGUN came to light when it was discovered that all but two kills by the Navy air crews were made by graduates of TOPGUN. A few years later the US Air Force started their own school for air combat maneuvering called Red Flag.
A TOPGUN Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents today have lots of new technology to do their jobs faster, remotely, and often with less face to face or close up interactions. With these tools agents can complete a transaction with sellers in California while buyers are in France - never seeing each other. But what skills does your real estate agent really have? What skills is your real estate agent developing? Is your agent just doing the minimum for state mandated continuing education requirements or are they striving to be better agents so they can better represent their clients?
Shouldn't real estate agent be constantly improving their skills? Maybe being a better negotiater will get you a better price? Maybe helping their clients achieve their goals of selling or purchasing a home quicker with less stress? Maybe helping their clients better understand the constantly changing real estate market? One way to determine this is to see what certifications and designations a real estate agent has obtained or is in the process of obtaining. There are several certiications and designations available from the National Association of Realtors and other real estate organizations.
As a RVA HomePRO education is one of my top priorities so I can better serve my clients. Beyond doing far more continuing education than what is required by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation I have completed some of these advanced designations and certifications and am working on others. In the past 2 years I have received the following certifications and designations:
- e-PRO certification focusing on using cutting-edge technologies and digital initiatives.
- SFR - Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Certification focuses on honing skills that will allow them to help buyers and sellers of distressed properties.
- GRI - Graduate Realtor Institute designation is like a Master of Science in real estate matters with focus on in-depth market knowledge, increased proficiency in a broad array of subjects to enhance professionalism and business success.
Currently I am in the process of earning my:
- ABR - Accredited Buyer's Representative designation is designed for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process.
- CRS - Certified Residential Specialist is the highest credential awarded to residential sales agents, managers and brokers for being experts in residential sales.