Select Page

Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, 19th Air Force commander, asked his team to deliver a redesigned Undergraduate Pilot Training syllabi “that embraced common sense and held ideas from the leaders and instructor corps to produce more pilots, higher quality pilots with agility and speed.” The homework assignment was to “transform the current syllabi to match the more competitive world in the future,” according to Doherty.

Col. Lee Gentile, 71st Flying Training Wing vice wing commander and the flight lead for the 19th Air Force UPT syllabi redesign project, gathered a group of 80 instructor pilots from across Air Education and Training Commands’s UPT bases for a two-day Capstone event March 7-8, 2018 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, to finalize 9 months of work.

The team included active duty and Reserve instructor pilots, and civilian simulator instructors from various flight training bases and units to revise and troubleshoot three phases of undergraduate flight training syllabi that haven’t been changed in more than two decades.

In small, phase-focused break away groups, the conference attendees brainstormed ways to combat the Air Force’s shortage of pilots, with efforts focused on raising the number of pilot accessions into the flying community. The No. 1 priority for the team was to meet the attributes and skills required across the Air Force’s flying communities.

“In addition to increasing the quality of our pilots with changes to the syllabi, we can increase the quantity of pilots,” said Gentile. “It was our job to look at the current syllabi and identify the training that was ‘nice to know, but not required’ and remove it, allowing for a larger focus on what tools our skilled aviators need to have as they deploy and support combatant commanders.”

“With the revised structure, squadron commanders will have the ability to add, subtract and repurpose training to meet the needs of individual students,” said Gentile. “The squadron commanders will have an average track for most students, but will not be constrained by the syllabi. Matching weapons systems to pilots earlier will also eliminate unnecessary generalized training and get pilots to their first formal training unit faster in an effort to revitalize squadrons and increase their readiness. We will also look at combining sorties, which allows students to receive the same amount of training over a condensed time period, making the pipeline more efficient.” Read more

Read also: California National Guard Soldiers share experience with Afghan leaders

Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, 19th Air Force commander, asked his team to deliver a redesigned Undergraduate Pilot Training syllabi “that embraced common sense and held ideas from the leaders and instructor corps to produce more pilots, higher quality pilots with agility and speed.” The homework assignment was to “transform the current syllabi to match the more competitive world in the future,” according to Doherty.