F-35 available from UPT after T38?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by fishandbike, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. fishandbike

    fishandbike New Member

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    Hello, so I just graduated, commissioned, got my pilot slot, passed flight physical, got my security clearance and am now waiting to EAD. I got two questions,

    One: I am curious if by the time I go to UPT (presumably starting the summer of 2019) will I be able to track F-35/F-22 directly? Or will I still need to track something more common such as F-15 or F-16 first and then transfer down the road? I know it all depends on what is available for my class, but lets assume there are available F-35/22s... would those even come up as options for brand new UPT grads?

    Two: n00b question sorry! Do I find out which airframe I fly before or after I am selected to track T38? Like when you finish on the T-6 do they say "Congrats, you are flying the F22! go hop in a T38 now" or do they say "Congrats, you've been assigned fighter, go hop in a T38 and we'll tell you which fighter you get after you are finished with the T38"?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. TheZooElCid

    TheZooElCid Banned

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    one step at a time there high speed ;)
     
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  3. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    May I ask did you commission AFROTC or OTS?

    Just a little confused with your questions regarding the UPT process.
     
  4. Humey

    Humey Member

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    My son is at UPT. Everyone starts with the T-6. About 5-6 months later you track, either the T-1, the T-38 or Helicopter. In my sons class of 18, 2 left during the first 6 months. They just tracked 2 weeks ago. 4 students including my son, got the T-38 (one being National Guard A-10) , one guy got Helicopter and the rest when T-1. Since you are interested in F-35, I will only deal with the T-38. Only those who fly the T-38 can get a fighter or a bomber although there have been cases of guys flying T-1 who got the B-52 bomber. Once the class is over, they decide who gets what. Of my son's T-38 group, one will get the A-10 as he is National Guard and the rest can get anything from FAIP to C-17 to a B-1 Bomber to F-35. You dont work yourself up to the F-35. If you are at the top of your class and if you want the F-35 and if there is an F-35 available and it is offererd to you, then you get to fly the F-35. You dont start with a F-15 or F-16 and work yourself up. Chances are in my sons class, maybe 1 other will get a fighter\bomber but that isnt guaranteed either. Now if you go to ENJJPT, which is the Nato version of UPT, everyone starts with the T-6 and everyone graduates to the T-38. While it was almost guaranteed you would fly a fighter\bomber, those days are gone and they too fly all different types of planes. As they take the the best rated student pilots, it is also the most competitive. I would assume they have lots of AF Academy guys there, but that just is just guess. At my sons base, they have had 3 graduating classes in the last two months. Each class had one F-22 and a couple of F15/16. The last ENJJPT class I saw had 1 F-35. According to my son, no one has received an F-35 at his UPT base in a year.

    1. So no, you dont work yourself up to a F-35, you either get it or you dont
    2. You find out what you fly after your tracked and after you finished with the T-1 or T-38. So for example my son will start the T-38 in middle to late February and find out what he is flying in late July and graduate around 2 weeks later
     
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  5. zachtx

    zachtx 5-Year Member

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    Both the F-35 and F-22 are available to folks directly out of UPT, I saw both drop numerous times during FY18 at Vance and have classmates in the pipeline now, but it is much more common for folks to drop the F-16 or F-15E just due to manning and the number of squadrons that need young wingmen. To answer your second question, if you track to the -38, you have no idea what you'll be flying after UPT, nor are you guaranteed a fighter. I'd say for the last year and half or so, the trend in a class of 6-8 -38 bros is about half fighters, a faip or bomber, and some sort of widebody ISR (E-3/E-8) or other ACC heavy (HC-130/EC-130). Occasionally they get an AFSOC drop (gunship or U-28 usually), but the point is that tracking T-38s won't guarantee you a fighter, you'll still be competing for it post track. It's all based on the needs of AFPC.
     
  6. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Also, if you do get an F-16 rather than an F-35 there will be opportunities to switch airframes. My son has been asked a few times to switch. There is no way to tell what it will be like when you get to that point, however.

    One thing to keep in mind - The flying hours that you get in the new jets are less than in the legacy airframes. A lot of the currency requirements are done in the sims rather than in an actual aircraft. But, as I said, there is no way to tell how the future will be.

    Stealth_81
     
  7. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    +1

    The slate is wiped clean once you track.

    As others have stated it all comes down to the drop. These are some of the more recent drops.

    KEND 19-04/19-05 ...note it is for both class 19/04 and 19/05
    T-38s only,
    F-15E
    E-3
    F-22
    B-52
    T-6 Vance
    F-15 Singapore
    F-16 TBD
    F-22

    Another recent drop
    T-38
    F-16 Luke
    B-1 Dyess
    B-52 Barksdale
    38 FAIP x2

    One more recent drop
    T-38
    2X F-16 One WI ANG guard, one AD
    B-52 Barksdale, LA
    F-15C Kingsley Field, OR
    2X F-15E Seymour Johnson, NC
    A-10 DM, AZ

    The last drop I saw for Columbus was back in Nov. 19-03 and there were no 35s or 22s.
    CAFB 19-03

    T-38
    A-10 MI ANG
    3x B-52 Barksdale
    2x F-15E Seymour-Johnson
    B-1 Dyess
    T-6 FAIP
    4x F-16 TBD

    As you can see there were no 35's dropped out of the 38s, and only 2 F22s in total.

    With that being said the 35 is going to replace the 16 just like the Strike replaced the 4 and 111. Eventually you may have the ability to
     
  8. Humey

    Humey Member

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    This was the last drop for ENJJPT

    Shep 19-02

    F-15C ANG
    F-16
    T-38A ADAIR Langely
    F-15C ANG
    E-3 Kadena
    F-15E
    T-6 Sheppard
    F-22A
    AC-130
    A-10C
    B-52
    F-15E
    F-16
    T-38C Sheppard
    F-35A
    F-16

    F-16 Denmark
    F-16 Denmark
    CF-18 Canada
     
  9. a400831

    a400831 5-Year Member

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    I might be late to the party but I am gonna post just in case anyone in the distant future decides to stumble upon this thread.

    Like others said, you got a very long ways to go before being able to voice a preference. I would say one of the worst things you can do Day 1 of UPT is be 'that guy' who is extremely vocal about wanting a Raptor or fighters in general. Sure, if someone asks, feel free to speak honestly. However, of all the dudes who went fighters with me out of my class, they were all silent hard workers, not the vocal ones.

    You can have great hands and be a smart dude, but if you have a reputation that rubs your flight commander the wrong way, they will not give you what you want. Is it fair? Not really. Is it the reality of the situation? Currently yes.

    The best way to do well is study hard, work hard, be a good dude, and never miss an opportunity to keep the mouth closed and ears open. I am not saying this to be mean, I am saying this as someone who has already been there and wants future dudes to succeed.

    That being said, your preferences now may very well change during UPT. I started out wanting helicopters. I ended up going T38s, having the opportunity to go Raptors, and picked Vipers. The only way you have significant control of your destiny is to be #1 in the class and the rest is timing outside of your control. Don't work hard for a specific airframe. Work hard to have multiple options. Do your best, help your bros do your best, and let fate decide the rest.
     
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  10. Nemo567

    Nemo567 Member

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    Is it true that during UPT the squadron CO has a direct impact your version of NSS?

    Was talking to someone about the differences between Navy and Air Force flight school and that came up.
     
  11. zachtx

    zachtx 5-Year Member

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    Yes. The flight commander in both T-6s and T-1s/T-38s controls part of your MASS (not sure how it works at Rucker). I want to say it was 20%, but I'm not positive on what the exact percentage was. How said Flt/CC chooses to use it is up to him. In my T-6 flight, he did it with minimal input from other IPs and besides that, decided by himself. My T-1 Flt/CC used peer rankings and rankings from all the other IPs, and then used his personal opinions to break ties or move people up or down a spot as he saw fit.
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    UPT is the hardest time in any young 2LT's life. As PIMA can tell you, if you hear from your LT anytime other than the ten minutes on Sunday afternoon, it's bad.
     
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