The mission of the 5 FTS is to train and provide a reserve of experienced instructor pilots to augment the Air Education and Training Command’s instructor cadre in the event of wartime mobilization. During wartime, or in the event of hostilities, the unit is mobilized to offset the anticipated loss of experienced active duty pilot inputs into AETC’s Pilot Instructor Training pipeline.
“Train Joint Warriors for victory in the air. Grow tomorrow’s leaders!”
“To Mold Officers into Elite Warrior Aviators, Ready and Capable to Lead in our Nation’s Defense!”
•OSS Mission: To provide world-class operational support to Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training; to deploy combat ready Airmen; and to grow Air Force leaders
•OSS Vision: Set the example as the foremost Air Force OSS…always professional with the right attitude to excel
The mission of the 71st Student Squadron is to grow leaders, groom Airmen, and graduate the best-trained joint and international military aviators in the world’s premier Air Force.
Prepare professional, service-minded Airmen for the broad spectrum of future Air Force challenges
Provide mentoring and leadership opportunities to bring up our next generation of leaders
Produce world-class aviators with a solid foundation for success in follow-on training and beyond
HISTORY OF THE
71ST OPERATIONS GROUP
After activation in Alabama on 1 October 1941, the 71st Observation Group trained with B-25, P-38 and P-40 airplanes. It moved to California in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and flew antisubmarine patrols off the West Coast. During the autumn of 1943, after redesignation as the 71st Reconnaissance Group, the organization moved to the Southwest Pacific where it was assigned to the Fifth Air Force. With B-25, P-38, P-39, L-4, L-5 and L-6 airplanes, the 71st flew reconnaissance missions over New Britain, New Guinea, and the Admiralties from bases in New Guinea and Biak. The group also bombed and strafed Japanese installations, airfields and shipping; supported Allied ground forces in New Guinea and Biak; flew courier missions; participated in rescue operations; and hauled passengers and cargo.
In November 1944, the 71st moved to the Philippines, where it flew reconnaissance missions over Luzon. It also supported ground forces on the island, photographed and bombed airfields in Formosa and China, and attacked enemy shipping in the South China Sea. Major William A. Shomo of the group earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for shooting down seven enemy airplanes on 11 January 1945.
In August 1945, the 71st Reconnaissance Group moved to Ie Shima, from which it attacked transportation targets on Kyushu and flew reconnaissance missions over southern Japan. In October 1945, after the Japanese surrender, the group moved to Japan, where it was deactivated on 1 February 1946.
On 28 February, the group reactivated in Japan, where it was equipped with RB-17, RB-29, RF-50, RF-61 and RF-80 aircraft for aerial photographing of Japan and southern Korea.
Redesignated the 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group in August 1948, it was deactivated in Japan on 1 April 1949. After being redesignated as the 71st Operations Group on 9 December 1991, the organization was reactivated on 15 December 1991 at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
Col. Paul M. Johnson