Flying Training

Flying Training

Air Education and Training Command conducts flying training and is responsible for training aircrews and air battle managers, as well as conducting cadet airmanship programs at the United States Air Force Academy for more than 3,400 cadets per year.

Air Force pilot, Remotely Piloted Aircraft pilot, and combat systems officer candidates begin with Initial Flight Screening/RPA Flight Screening at Pueblo, Colorado, to gauge aptitude for flight and introduce candidates to the rigors of military aviation and training. Pilot candidates then attend either Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas, or Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, Laughlin AFB, Texas, or Vance AFB, Oklahoma.

At ENJJPT, students learn with, and are taught by, U.S. Air Force officers and officers from various air forces of our NATO allies. Student pilots fly the T-6 Texan II mastering contact, instrument, low-level and formation flying. Then they move onto a fighter-trainer, the T-38 Talon, and continue building the skills necessary to become a fighter pilot. Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training is divided into three phases, Academic/Ground Training, Primary Flying Training, and Advanced Flying Training.

This training includes:

a. Flying training to teach the principles and techniques used in operating advanced aircraft.

b. Ground training to supplement and reinforce flying training.

c. Officer development training to strengthen the graduate's leadership skills, officer qualities, and understanding of the role of the military pilot as an officer and supervisor.

Primary Flying Training is designed to teach the basic flying fundamentals necessary to safely operate any U.S. Air Force aircraft and lays the foundation for the advanced phase and for future responsibilities as military officers and leaders.

After the primary phase of specialized training, student pilots are selected for one of three advanced training tracks based on needs of the Air Force and their class standing. Prospective airlift and tanker pilots are assigned to the airlift/tanker track and train in the T-1 Jayhawk. Student pilots headed for bomber or fighter assignments are assigned to the bomber/fighter track and train in the T-38. Both airlift/tanker track and fighter/bomber track training continues at Columbus, Laughlin, or Vance Air Force Bases. Students selected to fly helicopters train in the TH-1H at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Approximately 160 students per year will be selected for duty flying Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

New to the AETC flight training programs, the RPA pilot training program, known as Undergraduate RPA Training or URT, was built around the lessons learned from more than 65 years of U.S. Air Force pilot training and designed to train Pilot-in-Command skills to the fledgling RPA pilots. Unlike traditional pilots who would expect to be wingmen or co-pilots in initial combat mission ready status, the RPA pilots are immediately solo and in charge of their mission upon reaching mission ready status. They are also thrust straight into actual combat upon reaching mission ready status, so it was essential that AETC trained as many basic skills as possible in the undergraduate training to prepare the RPA pilots for flight in National/International Airspace and readiness to enter the Formal Training Unit for their assigned RPA.

The RPA pilot requires many of the same skills and knowledge bases as the pilot of a traditional aircraft. After RPA Flight Screening at Pueblo, the RPA pilot students attend RPA Instrument Qualification course at JBSA-Randolph; a simulator only course in dedicated T-6 Fixed Training Devices. Finally, a month long RPA Fundamentals Course at JBSA-Randolph is designed to give new RPA pilots without operational experience the tactical grounding experience needed to enter the Formal Training Units for the various RPAs: MQ-1, MQ-9, and RQ-4.

In addition to pilot and RPA pilot training, AETC provides Undergraduate Combat Systems Officer Training; this training takes place at NAS Pensacola, Florida. UCT combines skill sets of the legacy Navigator, Electronic Warfare Officer, and Weapon Systems Officer pipelines to produce an aviator skilled in advanced navigation systems, electronic warfare and weapons employment.

The Primary phase of UCT utilizes the T-6A and focuses on teaching students the fundamentals of instrument and visual navigation, while developing airmanship, and building a foundation of mission management skills.

The advanced phase of training utilizes the CSO modified T-1A aircraft and the T-25 Simulator for Electronic Combat. In this final phase, student training is focused on advanced navigation techniques, radar scope interpretation, the principles of electronic warfare, Crew Resource Management, and the fundamentals of weapons employment. Airmanship and mission management skills continue to develop to ensure graduates have the necessary skills to succeed in a vast array of follow-on MWS platforms.

AETC also provides follow-on training for most Air Force aircrew in their assigned aircraft. Pilots assigned to fighter aircraft complete the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals Course, flying the T-38C. Students then move on to train in the F-15 Eagle at Kingsley Field, Oregon or in the F-16 Fighting Falcon at Luke AFB, Arizona, Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona, or JBSA-Lackland, Texas. Students assigned to the KC-135 Stratotanker or C-17 Globemaster III aircraft are trained at Altus AFB, Oklahoma. Aircrews assigned to fly the C-130 train at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, and aircrews assigned to fly MC-130H Combat Talon II, MC-130J Commando II, MC-130P Combat Shadow, HC-130 Combat King, UH-1N Huey, HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters or CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, receive their training at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Training of U.S. Air Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighter instructor pilots and operational test pilots began at Eglin AFB, Florida, continuing in 2012.

Enlisted Flying Training

AETC also provides enlisted aircrew training for a wide variety of aircrew specialties including flight engineers, air-to-air refueling boom operators, loadmasters, aerial gunners, airborne communications specialists, as well as the newest career enlisted aviator specialty – RPA sensor operator. Flight engineers train at Little Rock AFB, boom operators train at Altus AFB, and loadmasters train at Altus, Little Rock or JBSA-Lackland. Helicopter and tilt-rotor special mission aviators train at Kirtland AFB, and airborne communications specialists train at Keesler AFB. The RPA sensor operators complete the 3-skill level awarding course at JBSA-Randolph over a six-week period, learning the basic concepts of Full Motion Video, communications, different types of sensors and RPA crew duties before attending the FTU.

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🙌 Congratulations to Keesler's Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 652 for raking in the awards!!!
Check out the highlights of our @33rdFW #Nomads from Exercise #NorthernLightning & how the things they learned there will last a lifetime!
What do you do when the Hotter'N Hell, the largest single-day cycling event in the country rolls through your base? If you're like Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, you show out with a trip through Airpower Alley & Airmen's Alley that racers will never forget!! 📖
#Airpower! 1st Lt Cassie Herman from the 33rd Fighter Wing's 58th Fighter Squadron gives thanks to all of our #Nomads who teamed up with units from the different services to put on quite the demonstration of U.S. tactical jet capability & capacity at Exercise #NorthernLightning 19-2!
Our four-legged Defenders are critical to the Security Forces mission of protecting the force every single day!! Thanks for all you do! #NationalDayDay
Nothing like a little real-world "classroom" learning to help our newest Airmen training experience!!! Thanks to the 150th Special Operations Wing & the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. for dropping by!!
Staying true to our heritage is just one of the things that makes the Air Force so unique!! Check out how the 41st FTS at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., honors their heritage on the T-6 Texan II 👇!
#BehindTheScenes - Learn more below about 33rd Fighter Wing 1st Lt. Cassie Herman, 58th FS aircraft maintenance unit officer in charge, who holds an important role in keeping our maintenance #Airmen on track & taken care of!
#SundaySpotlight - Check out this inspiring story out of Goodfellow AFB - 17th Training Wing about an Air National Guard Airman from the 179th Airlift Wing with a burning desire to succeed who has excelled in every aspect during her firefighter training experience!
🙌👏 Congrats to Tech. Sgt. Stephen Conklin of the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, who is also an officer with the Anchorage Police Department, for rocking out the tech school #experience at Sheppard Air Force Base & scoring perfect 💯's in the munitions systems apprentice course! 📖 more about this #LifelongLearner ⬇! https://go.usa.gov/xV225
Supporting our veterans is such an honor – we can’t inspire & develop Mach-21 Airmen today if not for their sacrifice & service throughout the years! Check out the Goodfellow AFB - 17th Training Wing leadership team got the chance to interact with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in City of San Angelo Texas - Public Information to support veterans in the local community!
Thanks for your years of service, Wax! 🐕 In his 9 years on "active duty," Wax was a critical part of 11 U.S. Secret Service missions, helping secure President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump and foreign leaders! Luke AFB, Arizona-56th Fighter Wing #MWD https://go.usa.gov/xVgcD
FROM THE COMMANDER: Every day in AETC I learn something new! Just wrapped up here at Wright-Patt with our Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) team! Their defense-focused, research-enabled, multi-disciplinary academic environment centered on excellence and their experimentation in air, space & cyberspace technology and how that supports joint, combined & coalition ops around the globe, is beyond impressive & that's probably selling them short! The professional cadre here graduates 30K+ students a year across four schools & a non-resident civilian institution! Thank you AFIT - you have set the bar high in providing a world-class experience for our Airmen! And yes....that's me rocking out with KIϟϟ thanks to today's technology! Have a great weekend! -bw r/Lt. Gen. Brad Webb
🔥 Congrats to 2nd Lt. Isaac Perez, a former U.S. Air Force Academy tennis player & soon to be student in "Pilot Training Next," named a 2019 Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership & Sportsmanship Award recipient. Perez will be presented with the award by the NCAA at the US Open Tennis Championships 🎾 tomorrow! 📖https://go.usa.gov/xVTWn
😉 It's not really bragging if you bring home the 🏆 - is it? 📖 more at the link about how Columbus Air Force Base's First Assignment Instructor Pilots did alot of talking at the 2019 FAIP Flag!! 19th Air Force Commander 19th Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant
Great photos from basic expeditionary skills training at USAF Officer Training School's "Godzilla" class! Check 'em out 👇!! Air University
FROM THE CHIEF: Good morning First Command!! Me & the boss on our way right now to Wright-Patterson AFB to visit the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) team, but want to share a quick note about an amazing Airman (among many) I met yesterday making the most of her Air University experience. Capt. Tara "TONE" Smith's effort to actively & uniquely shape our AF culture & provide tools that will have lasting impact on the lives of all Airmen is exactly what leadership looks like! Leveraging relationships with women in-service & in national security groups, she is creating an Squadron Officer School elective that empowers leaders on the "how" & "why" info they need to mentor women in their organizations! Thank you Capt. Smith - we need every bit of your unwavering commitment & passion to lead & inspire Airmen & we appreciate all you are doing! r/Chief Julie Gudgel
"That's Air University" - Did you know AU has been hosting wing commanders from across the United States Air Force each month to highlight how the commanders can leverage the university’s capabilities, such as virtual & augmented reality, to benefit their Airmen & the Air Force. #LifelongLearner Maxwell Air Force Base
FROM THE COMMANDER: "That's Air University" - It's so great to be here at Maxwell Air Force Base & Gunter Annex today visiting the institution charged with leading Air Force education! There's an energy on campus - at our enlisted education hub, the Barnes Center; at Air War College; at Air Command & Staff College; at the USAF Officer Training School - you just can't help but be energized! Just in the time Chief Gudgel & I were at Squadron Officer School - Air University, we listened in awe during a think tank & learned more about potential uses for drones. We also spoke to the team at MGMWERX, who partner with AU to work on high-quality, experimental research & ideas on AF issues that matter! Thank you AU - for all you do! Oh....& it's ok if you lose that old photo of me in my SOS days too! r/Lt. Gen. Brad Webb
In the Air Force, we are often called upon on a moment's notice to do our nation's business! Thank you 59th Medical Wing for all you do to take care of Airmen!
Fair Mike, very fair 😂
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🔥 😎! Very cool tribute to the C-17!!!! #GoFalcons #Airpower https://t.co/RzhCPKx05i
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: It’s a great day to be an Airman. Today Barbara Barrett officially became our 25th @SecAFOfficial. The men and women…
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RT @AFSWTW: We were honored to host Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, 2nd Air Force Commander, for an immersion this week. The immersion served to s…
Welcome to the team ma’am!!!! We’re excited to meet you! https://t.co/WbhgRImQZz
The expansion of our strategic relationships is a key component of advancing force development. Read more ⬇️ on how… https://t.co/NIrmyV9rhP
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#DYK the @usairforce's next-generation training jet, the T-7A Red Hawk pays tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and thei… https://t.co/Va4lZYMR9Y
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RT @HQAirUniversity: The Airmen’s perspective is necessarily different; reflecting a unique appreciation of airpower’s potential, as well a…
RT @HQAirUniversity: Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of @AETcommand, presided over Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, AU's commander and president, goi…
Continuing a lineage of excellence ⭐ https://t.co/PATmr1ypE0
For the first time, the @97AMW supported a @NORADCommand air defense exercise, Oct. 9, 2019, at Altus Air Force Bas… https://t.co/TQxYMi4OdH
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