AETC command team journeys to Columbus AFB to observe pilot training mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The command team of Air Education and Training Command arrived at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, for a two-day immersion Feb. 5-6.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of AETC, and Chief Master Sgt. Julie Gudgel, command chief of AETC, got a good look at what the 14th Flying Training Wing is doing to revolutionize pilot training and move it forward in the future.

Webb and Gudgel met with Airmen and civilians throughout the days as they visited flying squadrons, and many of the support agencies and organizations that make the wing’s mission of creating pilots possible. AETC leadership also took this opportunity to recognize key members of Team BLAZE and congratulate them on their achievements by coining them.

“Our pilot training bases are at the forefront of developing the Airmen we need to fulfill our diverse missions,” Webb said.

Airmen from across the base had the opportunity to discuss and show Webb and Gudgel how the wing is invested into supporting an environment of cultivation where leader and leadership development has been a deliberate and continuous process.

During their immersion, the AETC command team was able to experience the virtual reality flight simulator room where a student or instructor pilot can train, get a refresher, or simply run exercises while waiting on a flight. This flight simulator has transformed the way Columbus AFB does training while minimizing cost and furthering student pilot training.

“It’s important that we aggressively and cost effectively look at ways to modernize education and training as we continue to transform the way we learn,” Webb said. “We are exploring what is possible in training through the use of innovative technology, including how it can be applied to pilot training.”

Webb and Gudgel also witnessed firsthand how the base has been incorporating AETC’s recently released priorities into its daily routine by showcasing how it has enhanced readiness with its gas mask confidence chamber, allowing Airmen to stay current on their training and enabling them to be deployable at all times.

“It’s very clear to us how much the 14th Flying Training Wing has done in the area of readiness,” Webb said. “Team BLAZE plays a critical role in producing the pilots we need to grow the operational force we need to meet future strategic requirements.”