Salutes & Awards

May 31, 2013

Spikes graduate 7 to combat air force

Tags:
Lt. Col. SHAMSHER MANN
62nd Fighter Squadron

Untitled-1
Today America’s newest fighter pilots joined the most lethal combat air force on the planet. Seven officers from class 13-ABC successfully completed the F-16 Fighting Falcon basic course and will celebrate this momentous accomplishment with family, friends, academic instructors and instructor pilots from the 62nd Fighter Squadron.

Their training at Luke Air Force Base began approximately nine months ago with an intense phase that consisted of 236 hours of academic instruction punctuated by evaluations in the form of 10 exams. In addition to the academics, these students were evaluated during 42 simulator missions totaling 58 hours. Though concentrated in the initial phase of the course, much of the academic instruction and simulator training was interspersed with flying training during the second phase of the B-course.

Following the initial phase, these seven pilots moved from the 56th Training Squadron to the 62nd FS to fulfill what was for many a lifelong dream … that of strapping a mighty Viper to their backs to slip the surly bonds. The joy of this accomplishment was surely short lived as Spike instructors immediately began pushing them to their limits to learn more and execute to a higher standard with every sortie. The proverbial “firehose” became a way of life.

Flight training started with transition phase where they were taught to fly the F-16 in accordance with Air Force Instructions, Federal Aviation Administration guidance and instrument procedures. The initial sorties consisted of instructors flying in the rear cockpit until each student proved ready to fly the F-16 solo.

The 62nd Fighter Squadron graduates seven pilots today. They are, from left, 1st Lts. Daniel Wabinga and David Hickle; Capts. Daniel Trueblood, Jay Doerfler and Jefferson Page; 1st Lt. David Fontagneres; and Capt. Ryan Vanbuskirk.

Following the TR phase, the student pilots were introduced to one versus one dogfighting to learn dynamic maneuvering under high gravity-force while reacting to an adversary maneuvering in close proximity to their aircraft. Once proficient in basic one versus one, they progressed to two versus one, two versus two, and eventually four versus four air combat tactics missions where they executed real world tactics against adversaries with the fights starting with more than 50-mile separation between the blue and red forces.

Upon reaching basic proficiency in all facets of air-to-air F-16 employment, they were immediately challenged with a completely new skill set to master air-to-ground missions. Again, these started with basic sorties where they were instructed on the employment of unguided bombs on the various ranges that make up the Barry M. Goldwater Range complex. The young pilots were then introduced to the munitions they will likely employ in combat soon after departing Luke to include laser-guided bombs and GPS-guided bombs. While most missions consisted of simulated employment, each student had the opportunity to employ live bombs.

Upon demonstrating proficiency with weapons employment, 13-ABC progressed into close air support and then surface attack tactics phase where they flew in forces of four to eight aircraft in missionized scenarios that most closely replicated the types of missions they may be called on to execute someday in combat.

After completing all these phases, class 13-ABC was presented one final challenge in the form of a graduation exercise called Operation Begin Compliance. This exercise consisted of an area of responsibility representative air tasking order and mission planning process that culminated in a complex force-on-force mission consisting of more than 20 blue fighters simultaneously attacking targets defended by simulated surface-to-air missiles and actual adversaries from Luke and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma simulating hostile fighters. In total, members of class 13-ABC completed 62 syllabus-directed missions totaling approximately 100 flight hours in the F-16.

While the effort and perseverance required to graduate was all theirs, class 13-ABC’s graduation would not have been possible without the tremendous joint effort put forth by Team Luke. From the Military Personnel Flight, travel management office and 56th Comptroller Squadron to the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, 56th Training Squadron, 56th Operations Support Squadron and many more … there isn’t a single individual at Luke who belongs to an organization that didn’t somehow contribute to the successful addition of seven motivated new fighter pilots to the U.S. Air Force. In particular, the men and women of the Spike aircraft maintenance unit moved mountains to keep the oldest F-16s in the Air Force flying and able to provide superior training to these young aviators. Along with the amazing maintainers, ABC’s graduation was made possible thanks to the superb instruction provided by the pilots who pushed, cajoled, motivated, challenged and sometimes kicked in the rear … Spike instructor pilots.

The seven young men of class 13-ABC endured a rigorous selection process that began at their commissioning sources, continued through Undergraduate Pilot Training and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, and culminated with their graduation from the B-Course and right to call themselves “fighter pilots.” The mental and physical stamina and aptitude displayed throughout this demanding course will serve as the foundation on which these pilots will rely on as they go on to operational combat units throughout the Air Force. While their training at Luke is complete, they will have many more mountains to climb and qualifications to earn. Many of these new fighter pilots will fly combat missions in less time from now than the time it took to complete the B-course. Congratulations 13-ABC. Thank you Team Luke. Spike Aces … 357 and counting!




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


 
 

 

Airmen get T-bolts to give blood, win award

Tech. Sgt. Alisa Frisch, 56th Medical Group unit training manager, and Capt. Sharlott Uriarte, 56th Medical Support Squadron, were among the top 3 percent of award-winning blood drive coordinators recently honored by United Blood Services, earning a Hero Award for providing the largest impact on the blood supply. Of the 1,080 organizations that sponsored blood...
 
 

ALS graduates 44 senior airmen

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 44 senior airmen Feb. 12 from class 15-2. The award winners are: John L. Levitow: Melinda Charlton, 944th Force Support Squadron Distinguished graduates: Christopher White, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron; Kayleigh McGill, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron; and Curtus Cowles, 162nd Fighter Wing Commandant’s Award: Matthew McLaughl...
 
 
Airman Pedro Mota

Luke’s best shine Pt. 2

Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota Master Sgt. Francis Willis, 607th Air Control Squadron flight chief, Emcee’s for the annual awards ceremony Feb. 13, 2015 at the Wigwam Spa and Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona.   — Nomine...
 

 

Salutes and Awards

Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega FROM LEFT: The 944th Fighter Wing 2014 winners are Senior Master Sgt. Chin Cox, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Majs. Bryan Dalton and Eric Puels, 69th Fighter Squadron, Senior Master Sgt. David Merris, 944th Force Support Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Jovita Holguin, 47th Fighter Squadron, Staff Sgt. David Hainley, 924th Operations Support Flight,...
 
 

AF pilot recognized for heroism in combat, awarded DFC with Valor

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — For one Airman, what seemed to be a standard patrol mission from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Oct. 28, 2008, concluded with him receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Jan. 29. The actions of Maj. Jeremiah Parvin and his wingman, Capt. Aaron Cavasos, 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force...
 
 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

61st AMU assigns first F-35 dedicated crew chiefs

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS Members of the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chiefs prepare to recite the Mechanic’s Creed during the recognition ceremony Jan. 23 in Hanger 431 at Luke Air Force Base. Seventeen ...
 




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