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.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Crossing over: Enlisted to officer

Courtesy photo Second Lt. Shaun Chaplain, 56th Comptroller Squadron flight commander, surveys his surroundings at an unnamed deployed location when he was still an enlisted member. From a technical sergeant in cyber operations,...
 
 

Air Force News – July 31, 2015

California The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test Force is in the process of testing the F-35A Lightning II’s newest munitions asset, a four-barrel Gatling gun that fires 25 mm rounds known as the GAU-22/A. Unlike the Marine Corps and Navy variants, the GAU-22/A is integrated internally to the F-35A.   Bulgaria More than 100...
 

 

People First – July 31, 2015

SecAF addresses priorities at Aspen Security Forum Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James discussed her top national and homeland security issues, as well as current personnel challenges, during a Q-and-A session with Fox News at the sixth annual, three-day Aspen Security Forum in Colorado July 24. Regarding her perspective of the current top U.S....
 
 
Johnny Saldivar

Roberson takes command of AETC

Johnny Saldivar Lt. Gen Darryl Roberson, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks during the AETC change of command ceremony Tuesday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Roberson is a command pilot who has mor...
 
 

Payday lenders prey on Airmen

Loans can be very useful in life. From paying off bills to moving expenses, loans can help Airmen out when they need it. Sometimes Airmen are attracted to a less than ideal option of obtaining cash other than getting a traditional loan. What they may not realize is that going to a place that offers...
 




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>