US Air Force Pilot Training Programs

US Air Force - The Road to Pilot Wings

All air force pilot training candidates begin their flying training with introductory flight screening.

The IFS phase is now conducted by civilian flight instructors in Pueblo, Colorado.

Students fly the Mitsubishi Diamond DA-20 during the IFS training.

The program is 40 days long which includes ground school and 25 flying hours which is used to screen some 1700 applicants a year.

Once the screening phase is complete your air force pilot training can go in one of two directions.

You can either attend the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Course (ENJJPT) or you can attend the Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Course (JSUPT).

ENJJPT is located at Sheppard AFB, Texas. The course duration is approximately 54 weeks (depends on weather and aircraft availability).

Student pilots are taught by, current US Air Force pilots and also by pilots from various air forces of NATO countries.

Student pilots first fly the T-37 where you will be taught instrument flying, low-level navigation and formation flying.

After you have mastered these missions you will move onto the T-38 and continue building on your skills which are necessary necessary to become a fighter pilot.

F-18 Super Hornet The JSUPT program is a joint program with the US Air Force, the Navy, the Marines and the Coast Guard.

This program is done at Vance AFB, Okla., and Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla. Air force pilot training students complete their flight training on Air Force’s T-37B and Navy’s T-34 Turbomentor.

If you enroll in something other than JSUPT or ENJJPT, than you will take your primary training at Columbus AFB, Miss., or Laughlin AFB, Texas, flying the T-37B.

At Moody AFB, the 3rd FTS trains USAF and USN students in the T-6 Texan II.

Following the successful completion of JSUPT, air force pilot training students move on to more advanced training.

Students selected to fly fighter-bombers will fly the T-38A. Your training syllabus will include low-level tactics, instrument flying, formation flying and navigation training.

If you have been selected to fly airlift and tanker aircraft you will complete your advanced training in the T-1A at Columbus AFB, Miss., Laughlin AFB, Texas, and Vance AFB, Okla.

During this course you will be introduced to

  • crew resource management techniques,
  • air-to-air refueling,
  • airdrop missions and
  • radar positioning and navigation.
  • If you have been selected to fly multi-engines you will move to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, and fly the T-44 or C-12 turboprop trainer.

    U2 Spyplane If your passion lies with flying helicopters then you will complete your advanced training at Fort Rucker, Ala., in the UH-1 Huey. Here you will learn to operate in the low-level flying environment and polish up on your combat tactics training.

    Academic and Military Training

    When US Air Force training students are not flying or in simulators, then you will be attending ground school classes, brushing up on officer development, and participating in physical exercise.


    The JSUPT program lasts approximately 52 weeks. After successfully completing JSUPT, officers receive their silver wings and are awarded the aeronautical rating of pilot. They attend follow-on training in their assigned aircraft at various bases around the country.

    If you are interested in joining the United States Air Force as a pilot then please visit the USAF Recruiting Website

    A10 Warthog

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