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14th FTW and Civil Air Patrol work together to make future pilots

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
The 14th Flying Training Wing produces hundreds of pilots every year for the U.S. Air Force through a selective and difficult training program, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT).

Through three phases student pilots will learn everything they must know to begin their journey as the most professional military aviators in the world, and every year Civil Air Patrol cadets have 10 days to live in a simulated SUPT program.

“They are studying exactly what we teach our preflight and primary phase students,” said Capt. Glenis Gibbs, 41st Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot. “It’s a lot more in-depth than I initially expected.”

Civil Air Patrol cadets have a high success rate at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs, and Gibbs said that high success rate reinforces the Civil Air Patrol’s mission: Civil Air Patrol, America's Air Force Auxiliary, building the nation's finest force of citizen volunteers performing Missions for America.

“This is designed to immerse the Civil Air Patrol cadets into an SUPT students shoes,” said Maj. Art Richardson, Civil Air Patrol SUPT Familiarization course instructor. “They have to be able to learn emergency procedures and basic flying skills … It’s actually a highly selective program, so these cadets earned their spots here and work hard.”

The program rapidly introduces information to the cadets, showing them how mentally demanding pilot training is, but also forcing cadets to succeed through teamwork and cohesion. Richardson said the Civil Air Patrol wants to make leaders not only for the military, but for the civilian workforce as well, by instilling positive leadership the young adults through training like this 10-day familiarization course.

“A lot of these guys want to be military pilots,” Richardson said. “I love it. This is my third year doing this program and the mentorship part of it is great … I explain to them my career path from joining the Army then transferring into the Air Force and going through Officer Training School, I like to show them there’s many ways to get where they want to be.”

The 14th FTW is the only SUPT pilot training base continuing to hold this 10 day course for Civil Air Patrol cadets.
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