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Military

By USAF TSgt. Lesley Waters

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Fledgling Eagles Learn To Fly
(March 13, 2010)

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1st Lt. Clayton Couch gives a low-level brief to Capt. Tom Bean for their flight Feb. 5, 2010, at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. Lieutenant Couch is weapons systems officer student and Captain Bean is a student pilot attending the 333rd Fighter Squadron Basic Course.
1st Lt. Clayton Couch gives a low-level brief to Capt. Tom Bean for their flight Feb. 5, 2010, at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. Lieutenant Couch is weapons systems officer student and Captain Bean is a student pilot attending the 333rd Fighter Squadron Basic Course.
 SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (3/9/2010 - AFNS) -- Twenty-four F-15E Strike Eagle pilots and weapon systems officers graduated the 333rd Fighter Squadron basic course during a ceremony March 6 at the Walnut Creek Country Club in Goldsboro, N.C.

"The 'B-Course,' as it is affectionately known, is a nine-month program designed to mold novice pilots and weapon systems officers into competent aviators capable of employing the world's most lethal fighter aircraft, the F-15E Strike Eagle," said Capt. James Valpiani, a 333rd FS student pilot.

It is the longest of four courses conducted at the 333rd FS.

"The 333rd (FS) is the largest fighter squadron and formal training unit in the Air Force," said Maj. Trent Hill, the 333rd FS assistant director of operations. "We produce more combat aircrews for America than anyone else."

The B-Course curriculum consists of academics, simulators and flight training that involve all aspects of the F-15E mission. Students start with basic flying maneuvers and steadily ramp-up to the more challenging air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

"Instructors grade students on their ability to perform the tasks on a scale from zero to four, totally unable to accomplish a task, to being able to accomplish (the task)
with no errors, respectively," said Capt. Peter Yule, a 4th Training Squadron instructor pilot.
Training isn't limited to the classroom, the simulator or even the flightdeck. It doesn't stop at the end of a normal duty day either. Students study late into the night and on weekends to ensure they are prepared for every training event.

"The intensity of this course far exceeds anything else I have ever done, to include flight training," said Capt. Tom Bean, a 333rd FS student pilot. "Our learning is additive and never stops throughout an aviator's career."

In addition to providing an intense challenge, the course also helps to build students' confidence.

"It has shown me I can get through a very tough and demanding work schedule and training program," said 1st Lt. Clayton Couch, a 333 FS student WSO. "With determination, hard work and teamwork, there is no limit to what can be done."
By USAF TSgt. Lesley Waters
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Copyright 2010
 

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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