Vance joins 19th Air Force UPT teams for fly-in at Holloman

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kathy Duran
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. - The 71st Flying Training Wing command team and instructor pilots from several training squadrons attended the 19th Air Force Commander's Call and fly-in at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 2-4, 2023.

All Air Education and Training Command wings were invited to network and understand how each base across 19th AF is implementing its training roles.

The 19th AF trains more than 30,000 U.S. and allied students annually across all AETC bases. 

Team Vance flew the First Assignment Instructor Pilot-themed T-38C Talon, two T-1A Jayhawks, and one T-6A Texan II to Holloman's airfield for this cross-country trip. 

U.S. Air Force Maj. Dakota Olsen, the 49th Wing Commander's Action Group director, said the 19th AF fly-in focused on presenting opportunities for crosstalk and lessons learned across all wings executing the flying training mission.

"As part of reaching this goal, we were able to execute a 40-plus aircraft Large Force Engagement flying exercise, conduct a Time Over Target flying competition, facilitate 28 instructor pilots flying platforms other than their own, and conduct numerous Wing Commander and Command Chief seminars on 19th AF challenges," said Olsen. 

Col. Jay Johnson, 71st FTW wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brandon Smith, 71st FTW command chief, participated in meetings with the other AETC command teams, exchanged learning methods, and discussed the obstacles they encountered with solutions. 

After the briefings, they attended a burger burn hosted by the 49th Security Forces Squadron at the combat arms training and maintenance facility. The command teams also split into groups and competed in several team-building exercises, such as shooting at the small arms range and climbing the ropes course.

Vance's very own 1st Lt. Braden Griffiths, a 3rd Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, and 1st Lt. Colton Fisher, a 33rd Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, spent the day at Holloman's Aircrew Flight and Equipment building getting F-16 Fighting Falcon flight gear issued to them for an incentive ride they will never forget.

Capt. Hunter Corpus and Capt. Andrew Wartman, 3rd FTS instructor pilots, participated in a familiarization flight aboard a C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. 1st Lt. Grant Mitton, a 33rd FTS instructor pilot, flew aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker, also assigned to the 97th AMW.

1st Lt. Jack Smith and 1st Lt. Charles Leano, 25th Flying Training Squadron instructor pilots, earned first place in the turkey shoot. They flew a low level through the New Mexico mountains in a T-38 and finished within one second of their time over target.

"It was fun getting to represent Vance Air Force Base at the 19th AF fly-in and compete against the other Undergraduate Pilot Training bases. We were judged on our time over target for simulated weapons employment,” said Smith.

All participants gathered at Club Holloman later that evening to meet and socialize with the other UPT instructor pilots. The event ended with a crud tournament.