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71st Flying Training Wing
71st Flying Training Wing.png
Active 10 August 1948 — present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Training
Part of Air Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQ Vance Air Force Base
Engagements
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
  • World War II
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1943-1945)
  • Army of Occupation (Japan) (1945 - 1949)
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg PPUC
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Mark C. Nowland
Notable
commanders
Lloyd W. Newton

The 71st Flying Training Wing (71 FTW) is a unit of the United States Air Force assigned to Nineteenth Air Force. It is stationed at Vance Air Force Base, Oklaholma. It is part of Air Education and Training Command (AETC).

The mission of the Wing is threefold: Produce pilots for U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and allied nations as directed. Second, prepare forces to support mobility taskings and deploy when directed. Third, provide support to, and execute mission directives. The 71st Operations Group (71 OG), under the direction of the 71st Flying Training Wing, conducts joint specialized undergraduate pilot training for over 410 student pilots each year. The group utilizes over 200 T-1 Jayhawks, T-6 Texan IIs, T-38 Talon, and AT-38 Talon aircraft. The 71 OG flies more than 55,000 sorties annually, and logs over 81,000 flying hours each year.

The 71 FTW is the only Air Force unit to conduct joint specialized undergraduate pilot training for officers of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and the air forces of several allied countries.

Contents

Units

5th Flying Training Squadron (5 FTS) T-1 Jayhawk
8th Flying Training Squadron (8 FTS) T-6A Texan II
25th Flying Training Squadron (25 FTS) T/AT-38 Talon
32d Flying Training Squadron (32 FTS) T-1 Jayhawk
33d Flying Training Squadron (33 FTS) T-6A Texan II
71st Operations Support Squadron (71 OSS)
  • 71st Mission Support Group (71 MSG)
71st Communications Squadron (71 CS)
71st Logistics Readiness Squadron (71 LRS)
71st Security Forces Squadron (71 SFS)
71st Mission Support Squadron (71 MSS)
  • 71st Medical Group (12 MDG)
71st Medical Operations Squadron (12 MDOS)
71st Medical Support Squadron (12 MDSS)

Additionally, the 71st Comptroller Squadron (71 CPTS) reports directly to the 71 TFW.

History

For additional lineage and history, see 71st Operations Group
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Lineage

  • Established as 71 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on 10 Aug 1948
Activated on 18 Aug 1948
Inactivated on 25 Oct 1948
  • Redesignated 71 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Fighter, on 4 Nov 1954
Activated on 24 Jan 1955
Inactivated on 1 Jul 1957
  • Redesignated 71 Surveillance Wing (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System), and activated, on 6 Dec 1961.
Organized on 1 Jan 1962
Redesignated 71 Missile Warning Wing on 1 Jan 1967
Inactivated on 30 Apr 1971
  • Redesignated 71 Flying Training Wing on 14 Apr 1972

. Activated on 1 Nov 1972

Assignments

Attached to 32d Composite Wing, 24 Aug-25 Oct 1948

Components

Groups

  • 71 Tactical Reconnaissance (later, 71 Operations): 18 Aug-25 Oct 1948 (detached); 15 Dec 1991-Present

Squadrons

  • 5 Flying Training: 16 Feb 1990-15 Dec 1991
  • 7 Flying Training: 19 Jan 1990-15 Dec 1991
  • 8 Flying Training: 1 Nov 1972-15 Dec 1991
  • 23 Tactical Reconnaissance: attached 18-24 Aug 1948
  • 25 Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 25 Flying Training): 24 Jan 1955-1 Jul 1957; 1 Nov 1972-15 Dec 1991
  • 26 Flying Training: 19 Jan 1990-15 Dec 1991
  • 82 Strategic Reconnaissance: 24 Jan 1955-1 Jul 1957
  • 91 Strategic Reconnaissance: 24 Jan 1955-1 Jul 1957.

Stations

Operations

The 71st Flying Training Wing's heritage begins on 18 August 1948 when it was activated as the 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, assigned to the Far East Air Forces 1st Air Division at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. The wing was non-operational from 25 August - 25 October 1948 when it was attached to the 32d Composite Wing. The Air Force inactivated the wing on 25 October 1948.

Strategic Air Command

On 4 November 1954, HQ USAF redesignated the wing as the 71st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (Fighter). Then, on 24 January 1955, the wing was activated, assigned to Fifteenth Air Force, and stationed at Larson AFB, Washington . The wing performed strategic reconnaissance and also tested a technique for launching small RBF-84 aircraft from GRB-36 bombers to extend the range of photographic reconnaissance and fighter escort. The testing ended in 1956, but the wing continued strategic reconnaissance until inactivated on 1 July 1957.

After a period of inactivation, the 71st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing was redesignated the 71st Surveillance Wing, Ballistic Missile Early Warning System and activated on 6 December 1961 . On 1 January 1962 , it was organized and assigned to the 9th Aerospace Defense Division, Ent AFB, Colorado . The wing operated and maintained the ballistic missile early warning system, including sites in Alaska , England , and Greenland . Then on 1 January 1967 , HQ USAF redesignated the wing as the 71st Missile Warning Wing. In 1968 it moved to McGuire AFB, New Jersey . There the wing operated the sea-launched ballistic missile detection and warning system, supported the USAF space-track system, and monitored the over-the-horizon radar system until the wing inactivated on 30 April 1971.

The wing performed strategic reconnaissance and tested a technique for launching small RBF-84 aircraft from GRB-36 bombers, to extend the range of photographic reconnaissance and fighter escort when the wing was reactivated beginning in January 1955. Those tests ended in 1956, but the wing continued strategic reconnaissance until 1957 when it was again deactivated.

Air Defense Command

The 71st was activated again in 1961 and operated and maintained the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS), including sites in Alaska, Greenland, and England. It also operated the Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile Detection and Warning System, supported the USAF "Spacetrack" system, and monitored the "over-the-horizon" radar system from 1969-1971.

Air Training Command

Following a brief period of inactivation, HQ USAF redesignated the wing as the 71st Flying Training Wing on 14 April 1972 . It was assigned to Air Training Command and activated at Vance on 1 November 1972 . At the same time, Air Training Command also activated the 8th and 25th Flying Training Squadrons and assigned them to the wing.

When Air Training Command activated the 71st Flying Training Wing, the wing not only became the host unit at Vance, but it also absorbed the resources of the 3575th Pilot Training Wing, which ATC had discontinued at the same time. The mission of the 71st became providing Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) for the US Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and selected foreign allies, using T-37 and T-38 aircraft.

Modern era

Throughout the early 1990s, the wing underwent several organizational changes. Headquarters Air Training Command directed a significant organizational change in its undergraduate pilot training wings in 1990. The 71st Flying Training Wing reorganized into five flying training squadrons, adding the 5th, 7th and 26th Flying Training Squadrons to the already existing operational squadrons, the 8th and 25th. Air Training Command activated the 7th and 26th Flying Training Squadrons on 19 January 1990 and the 5th Flying Training Squadron on 16 February 1990 . Also on this date, the wing inactivated the 71st Student Squadron, and the 5th gained the responsibility for the ACE program and fixed-wing qualification training. The 7th and 8th squadrons trained students during the T-37 aircraft phase of undergraduate pilot training and the 25th and 26th during the T-38 aircraft phase.

The wing reorganized under the concept of "One Base, One Boss, One Wing," in order to bring all the tools of the base under one commander. This restructure directed that Vance's 71st Air Base Group be redesignated as the 71st Support Group, and the 71st Flying Training Wing Clinic became the 71st Medical Squadron. The reorganization order also directed the activation of the 71st Operations Group, the 71st Operations Support Squadron, and the 71st Logistics Squadron. The 71st Operations Support Squadron replaced the 5th Flying Training Squadron, which HQ ATC had inactivated on the same date.

After an organizational review of the flying training squadrons, ATC consolidated the T-37 squadrons and T-38 squadrons into one squadron per aircraft system at each UPT base. This action was a result of the drastic decrease in pilot production. Vance held ceremonies on 1 October 1992 to inactivate the 7th and 26th Flying Training Squadrons. The 8th and 25th Flying Training Squadrons remained as the T-37 and T-38 flying squadrons.

The ATC, now known as Air Education and Training Command, directed the activation of the 26th Flying Training Squadron (Provisional) on 1 October 1994 as the wing's T-1A squadron. Plans called for the provisional squadron to inactivate and the 26th Flying Training squadron to activate in June 1995. It would provide Phase III tanker-transport training for the specialized undergraduate training program beginning with Class 96-04 in September 1995. The wing received its first T-1A "Jayhawk" on 8 December 1994 . It was used as a maintenance trainer. The 71st estimated it would receive three aircraft per month until it had its total complement of 41. On 1 June 1995 , AETC inactivated the 26th (Provisional) and, instead, activated the 32d Flying Training Squadron, a unit with a history more attuned to the current mission.

In 1996, the Air Force increased pilot production because of shortages. A downsizing of the total force plus a high operations tempo was squeezing Air Force resources. Air Force surveys indicated that pilots were leaving the service in increasing numbers because of a high operations tempo, impact of frequent moving on families, and a ready market for their flying skills.

By the year 2000, pilot production at Vance more than doubled from 1996 levels--165 pilots produced in fiscal year 1996 compared to 347 in fiscal year 2000. To increase the span of control for students in the T-37 phase of training, the 33rd Flying Training Squadron was reactivated on 1 October of 1998. The wing once again had five flying training squadrons; the 5th FTS, 8th FTS, 25th FTS, 32nd FTS, and 33rd FTS.

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Mueller, Robert. Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (USAF Reference Series). Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1989. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-91279-912-9.

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