Air Force

June 8, 2012

Marine, AF pilots temporarily swap services

Tags:
Story and photo by Senior Airman Melanie Holochwost
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Marine Corps Maj. Jason Ladd and Air Force Capt. Michael McGrew, 310th Fighter Squadron instructor pilots, pose for a photo next to an F-16 Fighting Falcon Wednesday at Luke Air Force Base. Ladd is currently participating in the Joint Service Pilot Exchange Program at Luke and McGrew is on his way to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., to start.

Two instructor pilots at Luke Air Force Base are currently on very similar, rare and overlapping career paths.

Meet Marine Corps Maj. Jason Ladd and Air Force Capt. Michael McGrew. Both are assigned to the 310th Fighter Squadron, and both are participating in the Joint Service Pilot Exchange Program. In fact, McGrew was Ladd’s flight commander.

“When I became a Tophat, McGrew helped track my progression as a new instructor pilot teaching B-course students,” Ladd said. “He also helped me through my single-seat forward air controller (airborne) upgrade.”

Now, McGrew is on his way to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., to follow in Ladd’s footsteps. Since Ladd was previously stationed at MCAS Miramar, he briefed McGrew on what to expect from the eight months of conversion training.

“I told McGrew to expect to be very busy since he’s about to get some of the best training in the world,” Ladd said. “He will learn to perform in a very maneuverable jet with a robust avionics suite. Once attached to his fleet unit, he will be qualified as a combat wingman and may deploy with his squadron into theater.”

The JSPEP moves personnel between the services to help foster knowledge sharing and increase the ability to operate effectively in a joint environment, McGrew said.

“I got involved in this program since I was due for an assignment, and this just happened to be available,” McGrew said. “This particular exchange only occurs every year-and-a-half, so I took advantage of the opportunity. I’m really looking forward to flying the F/A-18 Hornet for the next three years or so.”

Ladd, who has been stationed at Luke for a year-and-a-half, said the JSPEP has broadened his career.

“Although about 80 percent of what Marine and Air Force fighter pilots do is the same on a day-to-day basis, being here and flying a different aircraft is making me a better pilot,” he said. “The F/A-18 and the F-16 are similar in that they are multi-role fighters specializing in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. But, exactly how we execute some of these missions can vary.”

Both pilots said the JSPEP is a beneficial program.

“Knowing your enemy’s tactics is the key to exploiting their weaknesses,” Ladd said. “Similarly, knowing the exact tactics of your sister services is a huge advantage, especially in a real-world contingency.”




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


 
 

 
Courtesy graphic

Fitness center gets Xtreme makeover

Courtesy graphic Above is an architectural rendering of the changes to the outside of the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Renovations also include a remodel of most of the interior. The project will take place over t...
 
 

People — Air Force’s greatest asset

As I reflect on almost 25 years of military service, I find it easy to remember my assignments, the multiple jobs I’ve had and duties I have performed. I have served on four continents and for four presidents. Within that same time period, our nation has been in numerous campaigns ranging from operations Desert Storm...
 
 

Character, good or bad, will be passed on

Your character is who you are when no one is watching. At the same time, your character is who you are when everyone is watching. Your character is the sum of your morals and values and the quality of your character is of the utmost importance when leading others. In addition to your own values...
 

 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

History gets paint job

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY James Bridges and Hayden Yager, civilian contractors, prepare the F-104C Starfighter static display for painting Aug. 12 in the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The static displays in the airpark will be ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2015

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will begin an active-shooter exercise between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday. It is expected to continue throughout the day. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruption of...
 
 
Tech. Sgt. 
BARBARA PLANTE

944th Airmen live life as military couple

Tech. Sgt.BARBARA PLANTE Staff Sgt. Adam Jenkins and Senior Airman Cassandra Jenkins, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are a dual-military couple and work together as maintainers in the refueling vehicle maintenance shop. St...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>