Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., hosted FAIP Flag Sept. 24-26, 2021.
About 100 aircraft from Laughlin AFB, Texas, Columbus AFB, Miss., Vance AFB, Okla., and the Euro-NATO Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas, flew to Nellis to take part in the exercise, taking part in a flying competition with T-1, T-6 and T-38 aircraft.
Every year, First Assignment Instructor Pilots gather together to participate in professional development opportunities, cross-collaborate ideas from their respective training bases and celebrate the year’s accomplishments. FAIP Flag 2021 has the opportunity to give FAIP’s a unique insight as Nellis hosts the famous Red Flag training exercise, where the Air Force tests itself in the most realistic warfare scenarios it can simulate.
First Assignment Instructor Pilots, known as a “FAIP” in the pilot community, are instructor pilots who, after completing undergraduate pilot training, are selected to go directly into pilot instructor training.
It is not uncommon to see a few FAIPs selected from every pilot training class. It may not be a student’s first choice when it comes to preferences, but this assignment takes a special person, and usually a commander recommendation, to fulfill the important role of a FAIP.
Though most students don’t see it this way at the time, it really is an honor to be selected as a FAIP. FAIPS are selected from the top half of the class.