HomeNewsArticle Display

‘Accelerated Path to Wings’ pilot training makes history

Graduates from the first-ever “Accelerated Path to Wings” class gather in front of a T-1 Jayhawk aircraft after receiving their pilot wings March 12, 2021 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Accelerated Path to Wings is part of Air Education and Training Command's pilot training transformation program, a two phase T-1 only pilot training tract. The 99th Flying Training Squadron is responsible for executing the seven month training mission that culminates with students earning their pilot wings.

Graduates from the first-ever “Accelerated Path to Wings” class gather in front of a T-1 Jayhawk aircraft after receiving their pilot wings March 12, 2021 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Accelerated Path to Wings is part of Air Education and Training Command's pilot training transformation program, a two phase T-1 only pilot training tract. The 99th Flying Training Squadron is responsible for executing the seven month training mission that culminates with students earning their pilot wings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sean Worrell)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) --

Seven Airmen made history as the first “Accelerated Path to Wings” program graduated and they transitioned from students to Air Force pilots during a ceremony March 12.

Nicknamed the “XPW” program, the course is part of Air Education and Training Command's current pilot training transformation efforts and consists of students completing an undergraduate pilot training curriculum that only utilizes one airframe, the T-1 Jayhawk.

“We had students from various backgrounds, including five who had completed their initial flight training and two who had earned their private pilot’s license,” said Lt. Col. Eric Peterson, 99th Flying Training Squadron commander, “This is a great program for students who want to go fly heavy aircraft in Air Mobility Command, or who want to go fly certain aircraft in special operations or in Air Combat Command.”

Traditional UPT is a three-phase program that produces pilots in 12 months. The XPW program is done in two phases and graduates students in about seven months.

The first phase in XPW includes preflight academics where students learn general aviation terminology, after which students go directly to the T-1 aircraft, skipping the traditional route of flying the T-6 Texan II.

At the 12th Training Squadron’s simulator branch, the students developed extensive training profiles, allowing them to practice and be certified as proficient in the aircraft. Once students make it through the required simulator training, they go on to fly in the T-1 under the guidance of the 99th FTS team.

After receiving their diplomas, the new pilots followed a tradition called breaking of the wings, which originated decades ago when the Army Air Corps first started issuing pilot wings to young graduating aviators.

Graduation day was filled with excitement for 2nd Lt. Kassandra Fochtman, who is headed to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, to fly the KC-135 Stratotanker.

“It feels amazing to have endured the last seven months of pilot training to reach this point. It’s all been worth it,” she said. “I’m extremely proud. I can’t wait to begin flying around the world.”

One freshly minted pilot stood out from amongst his peers as he received the Top Stick award, Distinguished Graduate award and the AETC Commander's Trophy.

“Graduating from the first XPW class is pretty special,” said 2nd Lt. Andrew Button, who is slated to fly the C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. “I volunteered for this not knowing if it would work out or not, but I just put my trust in the Air Force. I want to give credit to my family and the world-class instructor pilots at the 99th FTS.”

Col. Robert Moschella, 12th Operations Group commander, served as the guest speaker. “The XPW program is a great way to capitalize on T-1 capacity to produce high quality pilots for the Air Force. These students had a great attitude throughout the program and showed an unrelenting willingness to learn and earn their wings.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @366FW: Air Force Chief of Staff @GenCQBrownJr shares some words of wisdom with our Gunfighters! Our Airmen continue to #acceleratecha
Twitter
April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child. The ever-changing military lifestyle impacts every member o… https://t.co/hmvocXQaGL
Twitter
Airmanship 200 is the second of three development courses that new #Airmen receive to better understand #AirForce v… https://t.co/1rueS9ToLP
Twitter
#ICYMI -- The Department of the Air Force published a website where #Airmen and @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians can acces… https://t.co/0YJcST5XaT
Twitter
Combating #COVID19 one shot at a time. https://t.co/EVyenHCi5D
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Accelerator is helpin… https://t.co/cfsdOX43hY
Twitter
.@LRAFB, Arkansas, Airmen completed 106 sorties, 254 flying hours, and nearly 2,000 training events during a multi-… https://t.co/3YOSh8DvcT
Twitter
Today is Gold Star Spouses Day. It honors the surviving loved ones of military service members killed in the line o… https://t.co/JYCacpkds5
Twitter
Everyone is susceptible to invisible wounds. These wounds have an impact can develop at any time, in any place, in… https://t.co/XxPKyovJc9
Twitter
#AirForce Civil Engineer Center Operation Directorate teams are following safety protocols and working closely with… https://t.co/4IjMrV240S
Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: Beware of frostbite 🥶 Our #TeamAUAB cryogenics team brave the heat of the flightline to deliver aircrew the frigid, but…
Twitter
Being able to recognize an invisible wound could save a life. Learn more about available resources here:… https://t.co/M9JOy6XRWn
Twitter
“When you believe in something, you just have to put your heart and soul into it and don’t worry about what the res… https://t.co/K44qwDwFMG
Twitter
Second Lt. Max Atkinson, a student pilot in the 71st Student Squadron at Vance AFB saved the life of a local motorc… https://t.co/SHv1e8Te6M
Twitter
The 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron conducted four functional ground tests of the Air Launched Cruise Missile at… https://t.co/jerYunV1vQ
Twitter
RT @CENTCOM: #Airmen from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing @grandslamwing participated in the recent @USAFCENT's Agile Combat Employment ca…
Twitter
The Department of the #AirForce held a Virtual Industry Day on the Advanced Battle Management System acquisition ef… https://t.co/h36eGxfMKJ
Twitter
Take a look at the most recent Week in Photos! Which one is your favorite? More at: https://t.co/thFY9KXqud https://t.co/KzHQlzTovo
Twitter
Give CSAF Gen. Brown a follow at @GenCQBrownJr to get the latest insight about his strategic vision to… https://t.co/AgAHxPjkQJ
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC's U-2 Federal Laboratory at Beale AFB, California, executed the first rapid, successful in-flight test o… https://t.co/xD8fFXpXtX
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,340,194
Follow Us