Top Former Israeli and American Fighter Pilots Launch New Model of Business Leadership Training

World’s Largest F-35 Simulator Facility Housed in NYC Center

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A senior group of Israeli and American former fighter pilots announced today the launch of a business leadership training facility, The Squadron, a custom-designed 14,000-square-foot facility at 7 World Trade Center. In collaboration with real estate development firm Silverstein Properties and leveraging the Israeli Air Force’s legendary skills and values, The Squadron deploys 18 military-grade F-35 fighter jet simulators utilizing  Lockheed Martin software to train corporate teams in high-pressure decision-making.

The Squadron’s proposition rests on a fundamental market challenge: Corporate leadership training is important enough to draw $200 billion a year in the United States from businesses – but a 2019 Harvard Business Review study found only ten percent of programs deliver concrete results.

The Squadron Founder and CEO Kobi Regev said the difference-maker was his background as a senior commander in the Israeli Air Force: “As an F-16 pilot who has logged more than 4,500 flight hours over 500 operational missions, I learned that flying the plane well was just one small part of our success. What really made a difference was the unique, mission-driven culture of the IAF that allowed people to flourish.”

“This is the spirit we bring to The Squadron, a center of excellence where careful and meticulous preparation meets thrilling experience, and where learning from mistakes ensures we do better each time,” he said.

The Squadron’s signature methodology helps leaders develop a simple-yet-effective plan to identify the root causes of mistakes and how to avoid them, while honing in on the precise leadership goals and challenges they face. They learn to work together as a team to build resiliency, overcome fear of failure, and accelerate performance.

The experiential training platform uses the world’s only fully physical civilian F-35 simulators – valued at several million dollars each – to curate real-time, eighth-of-a-second, pressure-tested and mission-driven environments, implementing cutting-edge VR and mixed reality technology to increase the effectiveness of learning. The newly developed technologies allow a hybrid approach to learning: clients can fully engage in The Squadron’s training both in person and remote sessions.

The Squadron plans to expand to 17 cities around the world, focusing on the US.

“It doesn’t take a fighter pilot alone to realize the world is a chaotic place. CEOs, particularly today, live in a perpetual state of change and chaos,” said David Sable, advisor to The Squadron and the former global CEO of VMLY&R. “If you want to survive and even thrive in the post-Covid business realities of today, you can’t merely rely on case studies or conventional corporate training. You need a real-time experience that lets you learn by doing, that presents you with new and thrilling challenges, and that takes you out of your comfort zone to facilitate real growth. That’s precisely what The Squadron delivers.”

Workshops will range from three- to eight-hour sessions, as well as multi-day programs, all built around the flight simulator experience and 360-degree virtual mixed reality, followed by detailed debriefs that allow teams to assess how to meet their goals and improve their joint efforts.

“I am very proud that The Squadron has made its new home here at 7 World Trade Center,” said Tal Kerret, President of Silverstein Properties, the building’s owner and manager. “The role that good leadership plays in business and society is more important now than ever before. The Squadron has identified powerful strategies to enhance and refine those qualities through the exciting experience of flight.”

Over the last four years, almost 1,000 companies have benefited from The Squadron’s training in Israel, including The Coca-Cola Company, Google, Microsoft, and PwC, with most returning for additional sessions.

“I was fortunate to experience a training session with the Squadron recently and honestly wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack. “What does an F-35 simulator have to teach us about leadership? But I quickly realized that besides being just a ton of fun, the lessons the Squadron team shares have applications throughout our work. Experiencing the exhilarating, challenging dynamic of flying the world’s most advanced flight simulators and debriefing with expert mission commanders, you really get to see your own leadership and that of your teams in new and exciting ways.  I can’t wait to get back and bring a broader team with me!”

About The Squadron:

The Squadron’s proprietary management training methodology is adapted for businesses from one of the world’s most elite organizations, operating in one of the world’s most complex environments — the Israeli Air Force. The Squadron equips leaders and teams with habits and behaviors that drive personal and team excellence: leading with mission focus, collaborating with trust, learning by doing and improving through actionable feedback. Through simulated F-35 flight missions, Squadron workshops turn management training into a real-time, high-impact experience that delivers faster learning and more concrete business outcomes than traditional, case study-based classroom executive education programs. The Squadron’s instructors are US and IAF pilots, who like executives lead high stakes situations – often without clear information and while facing real-time and fluid environments.

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Media Contact:
Erin Mahoney

SOURCE The Squadron