310th FS maximizes ops to combat pilot shortage

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Airman 1st Class Joseph Jensen, 310th Aircraft Maintenance Unit maintainer, signals the chocks are pulled Aug. 8 at Luke Air Force Base. The 310th Fighter Squadron is the largest producer of F-16 pilots in the Air Force. Currently the 310th FS is conducting three initial qualification classes, also called B-courses, with 10 students each. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)

Lowery performs a preflight check on the landing gear. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)

First Lt. Robert Lowery, 310th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon student pilot, prepares for takeoff Aug. 8 at Luke AFB. Lowery is in one of three B-courses at the 310th FS. Running three classes, staggered, allows the 310th to start a new class every six months and maximize pilot production to combat the Air Force’s pilot shortage.

Lowery completes a final check to ensure the safety of the aircraft. The 310th FS flies 26 sorties a day, allowing them to efficiently train more fighter pilots. The current pilot training rate is a part of the 56th Fighter Wing’s efforts to combat the Air Force’s shortage of fighter pilots. (Airman 1st Class Zoie Rider)

A 310th AMU crew chief salutes 1st Lt. Robert Lowery, an F-16 Fighting Falcon student pilot, as he taxis to the runway. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)