37th FTS dawns new leadership

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Aaron P. Tillman turned over command to Lt. Col. Valarie Ferrara, the new incoming 37th Flying Training Squadron commander, during a change of command ceremony May 27, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

Ferrara is a combat pilot with 3,800 total hours in the sky, flown 367 combat sorties, has 15 Air Medals, and an experienced T-6A Texan II instructor. She has previously served as the director of operations at the 41st FTS here at Columbus AFB.

“There is no profession, position or title that I would rather have than to be your commander,” said Ferrara. “Thank you for choosing this patriotic duty, together we will help hundreds of officers and aviators achieve their dreams. The impact of our efforts will last for decades.”

The 37th FTS conducts the primary phase of training in the T-6A Texan II. Seated with an instructor, each student receives about 81 hours of training in this aircraft. Students learn basic aircraft characteristics and control, takeoff and landing techniques, aerobatics, and night, instrument and formation flying in all types of weather.

While in command of the 37th FTS, Tillman led it to the creation of over 400 USAF pilots during a global pandemic and a syllabus overhaul.

“Thank you for your confidence in me and bestowing upon me the privilege of being your commander,” said Tillman. “I never dreamed I would get this opportunity, to be surrounded by and supported by so many great people over the last few years. I have a lot of people to thank today.”