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SUPT class 22-01 graduates; new era begins

Graduates from Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training class 22-01, break their first pair of wings, during their graduation ceremony, Oct. 22, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. During a long-standing aviation tradition, pilots will keep one half of the broken wings and give the second half to a loved one. The two halves are never to be brought back together while the pilot is still alive.  (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

Graduates from Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training class 22-01, break their first pair of wings, during their graduation ceremony, Oct. 22, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. During a long-standing aviation tradition, pilots will keep one half of the broken wings and give the second half to a loved one. The two halves are never to be brought back together while the pilot is still alive. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S. Air Force Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, speaks to Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 22-01 at their graduation ceremony on Oct. 22, 2021, at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Five officers were awarded their silver wings at the ceremony and gained the title of “Air Force Pilot”. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S. Air Force Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, speaks to Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 22-01 at their graduation ceremony on Oct. 22, 2021, at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Five officers were awarded their silver wings at the ceremony and gained the title of “Air Force Pilot”. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S Air Force and foreign allied forces Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training graduates, stand at attention during the playing of the allied forces and United States National Anthems, Oct.22, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. One facet of training at Columbus AFB is the international training program where officers from allied forces are trained to be world class pilots. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

U.S Air Force and foreign allied forces Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training graduates, stand at attention during the playing of the allied forces and United States National Anthems, Oct.22, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. One facet of training at Columbus AFB is the international training program where officers from allied forces are trained to be world class pilots. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Class 22-01, the first fiscal year 2022 Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training class, graduated five aviators, four from allied forces, Oct. 22, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

One facet of training at Columbus AFB is the international training program. Class 22-01 graduated two pilots from Saudi Arabia, one from Japan, and one from Uzbekistan.

U.S. Air Force Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, shared his experience and advice to the newest aviators.

“You are here to do something noble,” said Graham. “Remember that everyday your paycheck is a down payment on something in the future. You are not getting paid for what you do today. You are getting paid for what your country may ask you to do in the future.”

These aviators have prevailed throughout 52 weeks of challenging training, earning the right to become Air Force pilots.

“The fact that you are here in this class is chance,” said Graham. “So much of your career going forward is going to be luck and chance. I think the sooner you can accept that, the happier you will be with how things turn out.”

The year-long pilot training program begins with a six-week preflight phase of academics and physiological training to prepare students for flight.
The second phase, primary training, is conducted in the single-engine, turboprop T-6A Texan II at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Students learn aircraft flight characteristics, emergency procedures, takeoff and landing procedures, aerobatics and formation flying. Students also practice night, instrument and cross country navigation flying.

“Thank you for what you have put into training,” said Graham. “Without you, we would not be here.”

After graduation the pilots will depart Columbus Air Force Base and begin their next journey to train in their respective aircraft.