New aircraft replaces T-37B

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Nicole Poff
  • Public Affairs
Vance AFB will soon begin to eliminate the T-37B "Tweet" from its inventory and replace it with the Air Force's newest training aircraft.
The 71st Flying Training Wing Site Activation Task Force has been working in cooperation with multiple base agencies to ensure everything from aircrew life support to airspace and pattern operations will be prepared for the arrival of the new T-6 Texan II.
The T-6 Texan II, built by the Raytheon Corporation, is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer that will "expose today's Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training students to more advanced avionics and aircraft flight capabilities to fully prepare them to fly the Air Force's more complex major weapon systems" said Major Douglas Antcliff, the SATAF chief.
Major Antcliff and Captain Mitch Johnson have been working on all aspects of the T-6 transition since October of 2003 when the SATAF was set in motion. They've been busy managing and reporting on training and the operational requirements of the T-6A/T-37B transition implementation to include manpower, publications, pattern operations and airspace requirements. Major Antcliff and Captain Johnson also monitor progress of the civil engineering construction timeline, simulator arrival plan, initial pilot and simulator instructor training, and maintenance training. The two-man task force keeps the wing commander advised on all T-6 arrival programs while acting as liaison to Headquarters, Air Education Training Command on all T-6 issues.
Luckily, these men have the outstanding members of Vance AFB to aid in completing all necessary construction and modifications for the T-6 arrival. "The overwhelming support and can-do attitude of Team Vance has ensured a smooth start to this intricate program," said Captain Johnson. "The outstanding Dyncorp and Air Force personnel in charge of these different areas have put the construction smoothly ahead of schedule."
Currently, $2.8 million in base construction is under way including new flight line shelters, an ammunitions storage site for T-6 seat and canopy charges, and simulator bay preparation. By November, the first T-37 instructor pilots are scheduled to go to T-6 Pilot Instructor Training, and installation of the T-6 simulators will begin in January 2005. The first T-6 JSUPT class begins at Vance in May 2005.