14th FTW welcomes back the 49th FTS
By Airman 1st Class Danielle Powell, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 10, 2007
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Lieutenant Col. Thomas Lennon assumed command of the 49th Fighter Training Squadron today at a ceremony at Hangar 4.
The 49th FTS is responsible for Active Duty and international AT-38C flying training.
The 49th FTS also provides Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals training to pilots and weapon system officers entering all Air Force major fighter weapons systems. This six-week course introduces pilots to air-to-air employment, air-to-surface attack and low-altitude navigation in the AT-38C Talon.
Along with other training, the 49th FTS is also responsible for upgrade instructor pilot training for instructors continuing to command-wide assignments.
Columbus AFB was originally home to the 49th FTS in 1942 when it was redesigned as the 49th Fighter Squadron, Twin Engine, from the former 49th Pursuit Squadron. The 49th FTS, along with the 48th Flying Training Squadron and 50th Flying Training Squadron, were active components in World War II.
October 10, 2000, the 49th FTS was reassigned to the 479th Flying Training Group at Moody, AFB, Ga. This move was due to the Air Force's Quadrennial Defense Review in 2000, which resulted in several mission changes including CAFB's IFF mission moving to Moody AFB.
In light of recent budget constraints to save money, a recent Air Force initiative was implemented to bring the IFF training back to pilot training, which meant the 49th FTS was to come back home to Columbus.
During this ceremony, Colonel Lennon said he was "really pumped about being here. Any command is great but a command with such heritage is even better."
He thanked the Blaze Team for allowing him to be part of "the greatest fighter squadron in AETC."