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 SSgt. Joe W. McFadden

Polish, U.S. forces improve interoperability at Lask AB

Four F-16 Fighting Falcons, two F-22 Raptors and a C-130 Hercules arrived at Lask Air Base Aug. 31. The airmen and aircraft are in Poland for separate flying training events with allies to demonstrate the countries’ share...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Ron Bradshaw

First operational F-35As arrive at Hill AFB

The Air Force ushered in a new era of combat air power Sept. 2 as Hill Air Force Base, Utah, received the service’s first two operational F-35As. Hill’s active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing ...
 
 
Navy photograph

Air-to-air missile reaches production milestone

Featuring a “lock on after launch” capability and other advances, the joint Navy and Air Force air-intercept missile (AIM)-9X Sidewinder Block II reached the full rate production milestone Aug. 17. Sean Stackley, As...
 

 

Navy Lt. j.g. John Salguero of Palmdale, serves with the Navy Reserve

Navy photograph by PO2 Jamie Hawkins Lt. j.g. John Salguero, a 1981 Palmdale High School graduate and Palmdale, Calif., native, is a Navy Reservist serving with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Eighteen, Detachment 2118 in Bremerton, Wash., in the U.S. Navy, which protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. The Navy Reserve is celebrating its...
 
 

MQ-1s test deployment capability in Latvia

Two MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft and approximately 70 airmen deployed to Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, to test the unit’s ability to forward deploy, and to conduct air operations while assuring NATO allies of our commitment to regional security and stability. Airmen and aircraft from the 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 




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>