The first 15 students for the Air Force’s new Initial Flight Screening program arrived at Pueblo, Colo., last week. Running the IFS operation is Doss Aviation, which the service contracted to provide facilities, flight instruction, aircraft, maintenance, and emergency services. Overseeing the endeavor and training the students is the job of Det. 1 of Air Education and Training Command’s 306th Flying Training Group. The Air Force plans to send to Pueblo all prospective aviation candidates from ROTC and Officer Training School; a similar IFS program operates at the Air Force Academy. These first students are getting a slightly different view of the IFS experience, since they are working out of a local hotel until Doss completes its facility near Pueblo Airport. Once complete—slated for December—the facility will appear as a mini-base with 195 lodging rooms, administrative offices, classrooms, a gym, chapel, dining facility, and barbershop. The Air Force expects the course, which runs for 40 days, to provide standardized training for all prospective pilots and combat systems officers.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.