COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Columbus student pilots moved into the future with the new and improved 2.5 pilot training July 22, 2022. U.S. Air Force Col. Seth Graham 14th Flying Training Wing commander, explained the significance of the new curriculum.
“One of the biggest changes for these students outwardly is that UPT used to be a 52-week program and then you received your wings,” said Graham. “These graduates are now receiving their wings in a 6-month period.”
Traditionally after students complete the 52-week UPT program, the pilots would move on to their new duty location and chosen airframe however with the new improved 2.5 training, pilots receive their wings and continue training in the T-38 or T-1.
“The 2.5 UPT pilots will actually be receiving more flight training than in the previous syllabus,” said Graham. “I can assure you that the new curriculum is harder than the past curriculums which will better our pilots.”
Col. Terence Taylor, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, congratulated the first class of student pilots to become aviators under the new UPT 2.5 curriculum.
Col. Taylor shared his experiences from pilot training and how the aircraft he expected to fly was not the aircraft he worked with, which lead into his first lesson for the new pilots. “Things may not always work out the way you plan but, generally speaking they will work out if you have a positive attitude and an open mind.”
Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
“Your job is to know your craft and most of the work is done outside of the aircraft,” said Taylor. “You’ve got to know your stuff, when I wasn’t flying I was studying.”
Col. Taylor finished his speech with his final lesson for the new pilots. He explained the importance of being open to feedback, referencing a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “Learn from the mistakes of others cause you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
Through Col. Taylor’s extensive history as a pilot, he was able to pass along several words of wisdom for these pilots that are paving a way for the future of pilot training.
“I want you to remember you can control your attitude and your effort,” said Taylor. “Remember that you are an officer first, never forget our core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.”
The Columbus AFB mission to create world class pilots continues in their line of effort to evolve with the changes in pilot development.