Salutes & Awards

December 20, 2013

Spikes produce 7 fighter pilots for CAF

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

The 62nd Fighter Squadron, class 13-DBC, graduates seven pilots today to the combat Air Force. They are, from left, 1st Lts. Adam Crow, Sean Foote and Steven Fox; Capt. Ryan Wade; 1st Lts. Jason Bright and Tyler Hill; and Capt. Matthew Zenishek.

Seven of America’s newest fighter pilots are ready to join the most lethal Combat Air Force on the planet. Class 13-DBC successfully completed the F-16 basic course and will celebrate this accomplishment today with family, friends, academic instructors and instructor pilots from the 62nd Fighter Squadron.

Class 13-DBC’s stay at Luke Air Force Base began with an intense academic phase that consisted of 236 hours of academic instruction. In addition to academics, students were evaluated during 42 simulator missions totaling 58 hours.

Following the initial phase, the students moved from the 56th Training Squadron to the 62nd FS to fulfill a lifelong dream — that of strapping a mighty Viper to their backs to slip the surly bonds. The joy of this accomplishment was short-lived as Spike instructors began pushing them to learn more and execute to a higher standard with every sortie.

Flying training began with the transition phase where they were taught to fly the F-16 in accordance with Air Force instructions, Federal Aviation Administration guidance and instrument procedures.

Initial sorties consisted of instructors flying in the rear cockpit until each student proved his readiness to fly solo.

Following the TR phase, the students were introduced to one vs. one dog fighting to learn dynamic maneuvering under high G-force while reacting to an adversary maneuvering in close proximity. Once proficient in basic one vs. one, they progressed to two vs. one, two vs. two and eventually four vs. four air combat tactics missions where they executed real-world tactics against adversaries.

Upon reaching basic proficiency in all facets of air-to-air F-16 employment, the students were challenged to master air-to-ground missions. Again, these started with basic sorties where they were instructed on the employment of unguided bombs on the Barry M. Goldwater Range.

The pilots were 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 employed live bombs, LGBs and JDAMs.

Class 13-DBC progressed into the close-air support and surface attack tactics phase where they flew in forces of four to eight aircraft in scenarios that replicated combat missions.

Class 13-DBC had one final challenge — an exercise called Operation Begin Compliance. This exercise consisted of an AOR-representative air tasking order and mission planning process culminating in a complex force-on-force mission consisting of more than 20 friendly fighters simultaneously attacking targets defended by simulated surface-to-air missiles and adversaries from Luke and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma simulating hostile fighters.

While the effort and perseverance were theirs, class 13-DBC’s graduation wouldn’t have been possible without the joint effort by Team Luke. From the military personnel flight and travel management office to the comptroller, aerospace medicine, training and operations support squadrons, and many others, there isn’t a single individual at Luke who belongs to an organization that did not somehow contribute to their success.

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. Along with the maintainers, this graduation was made possible by the Spike instructor pilots who pushed, cajoled, motivated, challenged and sometimes kicked students in the rear.

The mental and physical stamina, and aptitude displayed throughout this demanding course will serve as the foundation upon which these pilots will rely as they go on to operational combat units throughout the Air Force.

Congratulations 13-DBC. Thank you Team Luke.

357 and counting … SPIKE!




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


 
 

 

Lightning II debrief …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Senior Airman Roger Combs, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, downloads information from an F-35 Lightning II engine at Luke Air Force Base. Since 2010, more than 1,800 maintainers have been trained on the F-35. The first production F-35A rolled out of assembly in February 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas. Later...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Commons provides ‘crib’ for Airmen

Courtesy graphic The Community Commons concept design. Renovation has begun and will be completed in May 2016. The Luke Air Force Base Community Center, Bldg. 700, where the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Wellness Center resi...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 

 

CCAF offers jump on education

The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course work. Degree programs are...
 
 
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...
 
 
4_150710-F-NQ441-5x7-036

Salutes and Awards

FWSA announce awards The following individuals are quarterly awards winners: 56th Fighter Wing Staff Agencies Airman: Senior Airman Leanne Mathews NCO: Staff Sgt. Natalie Nelson Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Deanna Commack Company gr...
 




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>