Salutes & Awards

May 18, 2012

Top Hats graduate 15 combat pilots in ceremony today

Tags:
by Lt. Col. Todd Murphey
310th Fighter Squadron

The 310th Fighter Squadron graduates the following pilots today: FROM LEFT: 1st Lt. Nick Grieco, Capt. Jordan Wilkie, 1st Lt. Nick DeWulf, 1st Lt. Jeff Randolph, 1st Lt. Mike Kracht, 1st Lt. Wesley Tubman, 1st Lt. Jarred Epstein, Capt. Chris Charron, 1st Lt. Justin Lee, 1st Lt. Matt Dickson, 1st Lt. Zach Shapiro, 1st Lt. Robbie Glenn, 1st Lt. Taylor Tally, Capt. Christopher Campbell, 1st Lt. Josh Reddis

The mission of the 56th Fighter Wing is to, “Train the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers, while deploying mission ready warfighters.” Fifteen graduates of the F-16 Initial Qualification Course, Class 11-EBG, will cross the stage today and enter the Combat Air Forces  as just that — the world’s greatest.

The graduation culminates nine months of intense training and hard work by the 310 FS/AMU team, the 56 Training Squadron, and countless support agencies that ensured these Top Hat students could fully focus on their mission. This team contributed to more than 2,100 sorties, 310 hours of academics per student, and 768 simulators.

The Basic-course began in August with one month of academics and simulators in the 56 TRS. This rigorous month laid the vital foundation of aircraft systems knowledge and study habits that will sustain them throughout their flying careers. Once they hit the flightline, they learned the basics of flying the F-16. Each pilot flew five dual flights with an instructor, to master handling the Viper, and the sixth flight was solo.

Following the transition phase, 11-EBG learned to fly the Viper as a weapons system. The tactical portion of their syllabus began with basic fighter maneuvers (1 vs 1 fights) and ultimately progressed to Air Combat Tactics. ACT entailed four F-16s fighting as many as four adversaries in a challenging real-world combat scenario. During these intense months of training, the students continued academics and simulator missions.

Just as they began to feel somewhat comfortable executing the air-to-air mission, the students transitioned to the air-to-ground phase where they began learning to fly in the low altitude environment, employ general purpose bombs, and fire the F-16’s 20mm gun. Each student dropped live, GPS-guided, and laser-guided bombs — a practical experience of what the Air Force brings to the battle. By the end of the course, they were doing all of this under the cover of darkness with the additional challenge of using night vision goggles.

Their planning and flying skills were finally tested in various combat scenarios spanning different theaters from major combat operations, such as Korea, to convoy support and urban close air support, such as Afghanistan. These capstone missions ensured they were ready for their operational tours.

The next step for these young fighter pilots will be a couple months of Mission Qualification Training at their operational bases where they will work to become combat mission ready. Following MQT, most will be flying in combat or along the Korean demilitarized zone to defend our great nation.

In all aspects of this incredibly demanding course, both in the air and on the ground, the students of 11-EBG excelled and proved themselves worthy to be called Air Force fighter pilots. Thanks to all of the Thunderbolts who helped make this day happen. All of Luke’s Airmen can be proud of the newest world-class Viper pilots. To Class 11-EBG, Fight’s On!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Grace Lee

Pilot saves six Marines earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor

Grace Lee Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, pins the Air Force Combat Action Medal onto Capt. Aaron Cavazos, 61st Fighter Squadron weapons officer, Jan. 16 in Club Five Six at Luke Air Force Base. Cavazos was...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to fight the Nazis, Airmen...
 
 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are rapidly approaching. We expect...
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Chrach saves lives, earns recognition

Courtesy Photo Tech. Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Chrach, 56th SFS MWD, pose for a photo in Afghanistan during their 2012 deployment. Chrach was recently awarded the 12th A...
 
 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

VH1 concert VH1 and sponsors supporting the event are hosting a Super Bowl Blitz concert featuring Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX at 5 p.m. Jan. 30 in Hangar 999 as a “Thank you” to those who serve in the U.S. military. Members of the Luke community are invited and the concert is free. Service...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Civilian answers AF call, gets dream job

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Kristina Inocencio, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron engineer technician, measures the distance from the tree to the building Jan. 15 during survey training at Luke Air Force Base. One of Inocencio’s ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin