Talons and Green Beer

March 17 is not just St. Patrick’s Day this year. It’s also the date on which Air Education and Training Command will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the T-38 trainer, according to command officials. The venerable aircraft has served the Air Force well in training fighter and bomber pilots. But service officials say it’s time for a replacement, which they’ve provisionally dubbed the T-X. “We are right at the beginning of assessing the alternatives for a new trainer,” said Gen. Edward Rice, AETC boss, following the command’s spring leadership meeting last week at Sheppard AFB, Tex. He added, “I think we’ll make key decisions this year.” Once officials figure out what they want the replacement aircraft to look like and how many the service needs, they’ll begin piecing together a timeline. (Includes Sheppard report by John Ingle) (See San Antonio Business Journal report) (See also New Trainer Should Free Up Fifth Gen Aircraft)