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FAIP heritage aircraft revealed

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Davis Donaldson
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The 14th Flying Training Wing unveiled its newest heritage series painted aircraft on May 13, 2022, at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

A T-6 Texan II was chosen to be painted in honor of all Columbus AFB First Assignment Instructor Pilots, or FAIPs, due to their importance in the mission of creating world-class pilots. On the tail of the heritage, T-6 is a black and white skull and crossbones, resembling the 14th FTW FAIP’s patch worn on their uniform.

FAIPs are pilots who have graduated from Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training and have been re-assigned to their base as an instructor.

Col. Jeremy Bergin, 14th FTW vice commander, a previous FAIP, gave a few words at the unveiling.

“I’m always amazed when I see students get FAIPed,” Bergin said. “Some of them are super happy and some of them are less happy. But the one true thing is that no matter what happens if you try to take that FAIP flag off their arms, they’re not going to let it go because they earned it.”

FAIPs at Columbus AFB can be assigned to any of the flying training squadrons to instruct on either the T-6, T-38C Talon, or T-1A Jayhawk.

Lt. Col. Russel Kirkland, 41st Flying Training Squadron commander, also spoke at the unveiling and said the 14th FTW’s mission of creating pilots could not be completed without their FAIPs.

“All of you are the heart and souls of your squadrons,” Kirkland said. “You are the ones who bring life into our unit morale and mission. You are the closest instructor in the squadrons to remember what it was like to be a student.”

After his speech, Kirkland cut the ribbon, which officially added the FAIP heritage T-6 to the 14th FTW’s fleet of over 200 aircraft.

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