Bolstering F-22 Pilot Training

The flow of trained F-22 Raptor pilots into the Combat Air Force this year is more than double that of any previous year and is expected to grow even more, according to a July 30 Air Combat Command release. Due to a combination of improvements at the 43rd Fighter Squadron training unit at Tyndall AFB, Fla., the number of pilots graduating from the F-22 Basic Course jumped from an average of 10 a year to 23 this year, and should reach 30 next year, states the release. Although that rate is below the 42 trained pilots the Air Staff said is required to meet the CAF’s fighter need, the trend is in the right direction, states the release. The increased production was aided by the availability of more reliable Raptors, a reduction in the number of training sorties required, and other improvements in the training. “We have the flying portion of the syllabus down to the minimum number of sorties needed to produce fully qualified F-22 pilots through rightsizing the syllabus and by aligning it better with the CAF mission,” said 43rd FS Commander Lt. Col. Travis Koch. “Coupled with more jet availability, we can then increase the quantity of B-Course students while maintaining high level of quality.”