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Committee discusses status, plans for joint jet pilot training

by Airman 1st Class Candy Miller
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

10/2/2009 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Members of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program Steering Committee finished their week-long meeting Sept. 25 where they discussed the current status and future plans for the program.

They also reflected on the flow of student pilots, instructor pilot training, leadership and command opportunities, maintenance statistics and plans for 80th Flying Training Wing facility improvements.

Italian air force Brig. Gen. Franco Marsiglia, chairman of the steering committee, said the meeting was very successful. He said the program is in good heath because all the countries chose to continue to participate in the program.

The general said Belgian air force officials also decided they will re-enter ENJJPT program in October 2010 because they recognized the value of the training.

"The ENJJPT program is very good, the syllabus is very good," he said.

The general said the main change was the addition of T-6 aircraft for phase two of the pilots' training.

Col. Kevin Schneider, 80th FTW commander, said the ENJJPT program is doing extremely well after recently completing the transition from the T-37 to the T-6 in the primary flight training phase.

"We are also seeing the results of a new syllabus, which takes advantage of the capabilities of the T-6 and the T-38C," he said.

The colonel said other topics, like maintenance capabilities and aircraft availability, also are crucial to how pilots are trained.

"But the real measure of success is the quality of our graduates, "Colonel Schneider said. "That is our report card. And we are doing very, very well with that."

He said each of the NATO partner nations has a voice in how to train our future warriors and how they commit resources.

"For almost 30 years, this program has produced the best pilot training graduates in the world," he said. "And the reason behind that success is that each partner has a say in how we train our pilots."

Colonel Schneider said the key to successfully training pilots is to succeed as a team on the strategic level and to train as a team on the tactical level.

"NATO countries are more engaged and more deployed than ever," he said. "The ENJJPT program is a trans-Atlantic bridge and a crucial part of the continued success of our air forces."

Colonel Schneider said the committee process is absolutely vital to the success of the ENJJPT program.

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