Aim high Airman
By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 30, 2021
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- One Captain, Twenty 1st Lieutenants, and nine 2nd Lieutenants, graduated from SUPT (Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training), becoming the U.S. Air Forces newest aviators, July 30, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
Class 21-13 contributed to the readiness and manpower of the Air Force by producing 30 new pilots.
These aviators had to complete a demanding 52-week course, comprised of academics, physiological training, and flight training in the T-6A Texan II, T-1A Jayhawk, and T-38C Talon.
The guest speaker providing these graduates with advice and words of wisdom was Col. Jeremy Bergin, 14th Flying Training Wing vice commander.
Bergin is a seasoned pilot, who for the past 20 years has been at an Air Force Special Operations Command, and has served in every major named operation since 1994.
“SUPT is a trial of knowledge and skill and hard work,” said Bergin. “Every day these young aviators are shaped into what will be the profession that will serve them for the rest of their careers.”
Primary training takes approximately 23 weeks and includes 254.4 hours of ground training, 27.3 hours in the flight simulator and 89 hours in the T-6A aircraft.
After primary training, students select, by order of merit, advanced training in the fighter-bomber or airlift-tanker track. Both tracks are designed to best train pilots for successful transition to their follow-on aircraft and mission.
Along with completing approximately 200 flight hours, students must also complete 400 hours of flight-related classroom instruction and simulator training before earning the title of U.S. Air Force Pilot.
1st Lt Stephen Carter, 1st Lt Raina Cerniglia and 1st Lt Zackary Krieger received the Air Education and Training Command Commander’s Trophy for being the most outstanding students overall in their classes.
“You have answered a greater call,” said Bergin. “I am excited for the amazing things you will do in the defense of freedom and liberty, and I am proud to call you wingman.”