Training Air Wing Six (TRAWING 6)
TRAWING SIX graduates approximately 600 USN, USMC, USAF, and international students annually. Germany (the largest international contingent), Italy, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Singapore, and Denmark represent about ten percent of the total. Like their U.S. counterparts, international students can be found in each training pipeline.
As of early 2001 there were 26 T-39 "Sabreliners", 15 T-2 "Buckeyes", 6 USAF T-1A "Jayhawks", and 53 T-34C "Turbo Mentors" in the wing's inventory. The Wing anticipated adding T-6 Texan II turboprop aircraft to our inventory in the near future. The instructor cadre includes Navy, Air Force, and Marine instructor pilots, NFOs, and navigators, with some international flight instructors as well.
Life is busy at TRAWING SIX. The T-34 instructors average 35 flight hours per month, T-2 instructors about 28 flight hours per month, and T-1/T-39 instructors about 21 flight hours per month. Students average between 16 to 20 flight hours each month. Instructor flight time is in addition to his ground responsibilities such as operations officer, flight leader, or academic instructor.
After completing Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), all student NFOs (SNFOs) and Navigators report to VT-4 or VT-10 for primary NFO/Navigator training. Primary training commences with six weeks of ground school, where the student is introduced to basic air navigation, T-34 systems, meteorology, flight publications, and emergency procedures. After ground school and following simulator training, the student NFO/Navigators are in the front seat at the controls of the T-34C for their first six familiarization (FAM) flights. This portion of training is very similar to the student pilot syllabus for learning the basics of flight, the landing pattern, navigation, and aerobatics.
Pipeline and aircraft selections are made at various phases of training. Students selected to fly in large, multi-engine aircraft will report to the 562nd Flying Training Squadron at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas. There, students complete advanced training with the USAF in its T-43 (militarized version of the Boeing 737) in about six months. NFOs winged at Randolph go on to the P-3C "Orion",EP-3 "Aries II", or E-6 "Mercury" (TACAMO) communities. USAF Navigators will fly in the C-130 "Hercules", C-141 "Starlifter", KC-135 "Stratotanker", or E-3 "Sentry" AWACS aircraft.
Carrier based SNFOs and tactical jet Navigators will complete intermediate training with VT-4 or VT-10. Intermediate training includes airways navigation, instrument navigation, and visual navigation flights in the T-34, T-39 and T-1A. After intermediate, students are selected for either advanced training with VT-86 or follow-on NFO training in the E-2C Hawkeye at Norfolk, Virginia.
In VT-86, SNFOs/Navigators fly the T-39 and T-2 aircraft. Student NFOs selected for the strike pipeline train to become electronic countermeasures officers (ECMO) or tactical coordination officers (TACCO) for the EA-6B"Prowler" or S-3"Viking"respectively. USAF strike students will become defensive/offensive systems operators for the B-1B "Lancer". Students in the strike/fighter program train to become USN radar intercept officers (RIO) in the F-14"Tomcat"or weapons systems operators (WSO) in the F/A-18F, USMC WSO in the F/A-18D, or USAF WSO in the F-15E "Strike Eagle" WSOs. Navy/USMC strike and all strike/fighter students finish the T-2 Air Tactical Maneuvering syllabus as the final stage of training before being winged.
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