Aerospace joins the Operations Group

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Octavius Thompson
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The Aerospace and Physiology Operational Flight, formerly with the 71st Medical Group, is now part of the 71st Operational Group at Vance Air Force Base.

The transition, effective March 1, allows the AOPT to support the undergraduate pilot training mission directly and give Vance the ability to enhance full-spectrum readiness with realistic and efficient operational training.

“The relationship that we have with the Medical Group will not change because they are part of our overall safety and training program,” said Maj. Charity Bolling, the AOPT commander. “We will continue to minimize the health risk that pilots and aircrew encounter in the high-altitude chamber, air sickness training program and egress training through continued partnership with the Medical Group.”

Officers and 7-level Airmen within the AOPT will be designated with an X prefix that gives them nonrated aircrew status.

This status will give the AOPT more familiarization hours in the training aircraft, aircrew systems and flight operations and will enhance the training environment for students and instructors.

“Since they are already working with student and instructor pilots, it made sense to integrate them into the operations group,” said Maj. Troy Baggs, the assistant director of operations for the 71st Operations Support Squadron. “It will ease the communications and allow them to better support the mission.”

“We want to get more involved and integrated into the Operations Group and the flying squadrons because those are our primary training students,” said Bolling.