Defense

June 12, 2012

Marine Corps, Air Force pilots temporarily swap services

Tags:
by SrA. Melanie Holochwost
Luke AFB, Ariz.

Marine Corps Maj. Jason Ladd, left, and Air Force Capt. Michael McGrew pose for a photo next to an F-16 Fighting Falcon June 6 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Ladd is currently participating in the Joint Service Pilot Exchange Program at Luke AFB and McGrew is leaving the base to start the program at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. Both men are 310th Fighter Squadron instructor pilots.

Two instructor pilots assigned to the 310th Fighter Squadron are currently on very similar and overlapping career paths at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., as part of the Joint Service Pilot Exchange Program.

Air Force Capt. Michael McGrew is on his way to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., to begin the JSPEP, and Marine Corps Maj. Jason Ladd is currently participating in the program here.

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.”

Besides both being a part of the exchange program, the pilots have another tie. Ladd, who has been stationed here for about 18 months, said McGrew was his flight commander when he arrived.

“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 following 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.”

Ladd 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 (Fighting Falcon) 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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht

Laser-based aircraft countermeasure provides ‘unlimited rounds’ against MANPADS

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter prepares to depart Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Jan 7, 2012. The Apache conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocat...
 
 

Navy, Air Force advocate for modernizing combat aviation

Top Navy and Air Force officials today told the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2016 will support modernizing combat aviation programs. Cavy Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisitions; Air...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo

McConnell community marks B-29 rollout

Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo A B-29 Superfortress aircraft, named Doc after its nose art, sit on the flightline March 23, 2015, in Wichita, Kan. Doc will be one of two Superfortresses in the world capable of fl...
 

 

Future USS John Finn launched

The future USS John Finn (DDG 113) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard March 28. During launch the drydock was flooded allowing the 637-foot floating dock to slowly submerge until the ship was afloat. Once the drydock was fully submerged, the ship was pulled by tugs to HII’s south berth...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

First production QF-16 arrives at Tyndall

Courtesy photograph Maintainers begin post-flight checks on the first Lot 1 production model QF-16 after it arrived at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., March 11. The aircraft is the first of 13 deliveries to the 82nd Aerial Target...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Dustin Mullen

E-9A Widget, one of a kind

Air Force photograph by A1C Dustin Mullen An E-9A Widget sits on the flight line in front of hangar 5 Mar. 3 at the 82nd Aerial Target Squadron. The Widget is a modified version of the Bombardier Dash-8, formerly Canadian De Ha...
 




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>