Texas Unit Holds First RPA Winging Ceremony

The 558th Flying Training Squadron at JBSA-Randolph, Tex., held its first winging ceremony for graduates of its undergraduate remotely piloted aircraft pilot training, according to base officials. Gen. Edward Rice, Air Education and Training Command chief, presented the wings to the graduating officers during the May 3 ceremony, according to Randolph’s May 9 release. “The winging ceremony is the culmination of training at the undergraduate level for all aviators,” said Lt. Col. Scott Cerone, 558th FTS commander. “This first winging ceremony aligns undergraduate RPA pilot training with traditional pilot training,” he said. The next step for the graduates is aircraft-specific training at the formal training units located at Holloman AFB, N.M., and Beale AFB, Calif. Up until this point, RPA pilots received their wings only after completion of their FTU course. The 558th FTS is the Air Force’s only undergraduate RPA pilot training unit. (Randolph report by Capt. Ashley Walker) (See also Texan Ingenuity.)