COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
The 43rd Flying Training Squadron started over 20 years ago as a flight dedicated to the pilot training mission here; within one year, the unit grew to a squadron with more than 100 positions total, attached to each of the five active-duty flying squadrons.
Lt. Col. Brent Green, 43rd FTS assistant director of operations, was a captain and active-duty instructor pilot when he joined the 43rd FTS as one of the first T-37 Tweet instructors.
“It was just time for our family, we had three young kids and felt it was time,” Green said. “I enjoy the mission here. I mean I love to fly and love to teach, it was a good fit.”
He is one of the original cadre in the Firebirds. It was shortly after the squadron expanded in 1999 from teaching only in the T-38C Talon to teaching all airframes that he was hired.
Green has spent 22 years of his career in a full-time capacity learning or teaching in the T-37, T-38 and T-6A Texan II here.
“No other human being comes close to his total years flying and writing grade sheets in the jet as a full-time instructor in support of the pilot producing mission here at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; 21 years,” said Lt. Col. Brent Drown, 43rd FTS commander.
Spending the first two years as a traditional reservist and simulator instructor and the next 16 years as a full-time Active Guard Reserve; he has served in many total force integration roles to include chief of airspace management and as the 14th Operations Support Squadron assistant director of operations.
“I mean I like teaching. I like the reward of seeing the students learn and progress,” Green said. “My favorite thing to teach is formation flying. With formation flying there’s always room for improvement.”
Green acknowledged the benefits of his time in active duty, but said this Reserve unit fit what he wanted the most.
“I wouldn’t have stayed here this long if I didn’t like it,” he said.
Many who have worked with Green said he is one of their go-to experts during unique situations or before inspections. He is qualified for everything on the Letter of X’s; a document accounting for each pilot’s qualifications.
“If you’re the guy running the flying for the day, and you need an instructor to complete a mission, you go get Green and you know he’ll do it and do it well,” Drown said. “As commander, I learned early that no matter the task I asked Brent to accomplish, I didn’t need to worry; I could walk away, and not think about it again knowing it would be done and done right.”
Green, is retiring April, 13 after 28 years of service and will continue to support the Air Force and Columbus AFB in the capacities he can.