Courtesy: ILA goes digital website
Munich. 13 July 2020. 14 countries with a common vision – build alliances, strengthen partnership and contribute towards world’s best fighter pilot training program – this is the quickest definition of Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training. ENJJPT was, is and will be an irreplaceable program, especially in a current situation, where we deal with pilot’s shortage what rises the demand in this area. Talking not only with 80th FTW Chief Commander, but also with 80th FTW Operations Group Commander they both confirm that program will be still evaluating. “We strive to increase our training level with implementation of new technologies like VR/MR simulators or MFBs – this will allow us to be more efficient and to train more students. A huge advantage of ENJJPT is that we can tell you the exact date when the student graduate and this date will be kept in 100%”.
Sheppard AFB is getting ready for getting new planes, Boeing T-7, which will soon join 80th FTW fleet. Apart from expanding base infrastructure and apron, there are also changes implemented in training program and syllabus. “T-7 is a plane, which gives way more possibilities and can train pilots for flights on 5th generation fighters. The biggest mistake that we could do is to use it in the same way as T-38, that’s why even now we are working on new methods and plans, which will revolutionise military pilot training. This is aircraft is quite popular among countries which recently bought 5th generation jets (F-35) like Norway, United Kingdom or Netherlands and are training their pilots here” tells Col Driggers.
Cooperation between countries works currently very well, but ENJJPT is open for a new countries and expansion possibility. In the upcoming future, some of the countries (e.g. Canada or United Kingdom) want to increase number of their students and instructors in Sheppard AFB. Hungary and France are considering joining the program and train their pilots there, so the future of ENJJPT looks very good. US Air Force and NATO representatives look very forward to new members and to strengthen international relations.
Approach to build allies and strengthen relations as well as train pilots in a modern way, is definitely a path that one should follow. ENJJPT is the one of a kind programs, which evolves all the time very well and delivers great pilots. Operations and training in Sheppard AFB even now are on a very high level and their future looks even brighter.
Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training is the only one in the world international training program managed by 14 countries – Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The decisions about way of training and its path are made by all members twice a year during a Committee Meetings, where current and future targets are being discussed. What is worth to note is that ENJJPT students have more flying hours in total than standard USAF pilot’s training or European countries.
“It may seem that main point here is flying, but the true value is building and strengthen international relationships. Italian Instructor Pilot can teach Norwegian pilot or German instructor can train US student – these are just the examples showcasing multinational cooperation already during training, what gives a lot to our students”, tells Col Hey, 80th FTW Operation Group Commander. “Second point is pilot’s training – we strive to get perfect pilots of not only fighter aircraft, but also others and we want to see them proudly serve in their countries”.
Between both students and instructors, the atmosphere is very smooth and friendly. Students are divided into 20-30 people classes, called Flight with specific year and number in order to train together as well as building stronger relationships. On average, every month a new group starts their classes beginning with ground school (theoretical lectures) and then flying on T-6 and T-38.
ENJJPT have 4 main training programmes, UPT – Undergraduate Pilot Training, PIT – Pilot Instructor Training, IFF – Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals and IFF UIP – IFF Upgrade Instructor Pilot. Approximately 190-200 students graduate each year at Sheppard and in the nearest future this number should be increased to about 250.