The 47th Operations Group is responsible for training U.S. Air Force and allied nation pilots under the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Program. The 47th OG provides management, control, standardization and evaluation of all aspects of flying training operations and airfield management at Laughlin.
The group consists of four flying training squadrons, an operations support squadron and a student squadron.
Earning the wings of an Air Force pilot is extremely challenging. During the 52-week training period, each student pilot flies nearly 200 hours in the T-6A and either the T-38 or T-1A aircraft. Flying is supplemented by almost 60 hours in aircraft simulators and more than 500 hours in the classroom.
The 85th FTS and the 434th FTS fly the T-6A Texan II to provide student pilots the fundamentals of aircraft handling, instrument, formation, low-level, navigation and night flying. The training provided by these instructors forms the basic flight skills crucial to a student's flying career.
Following primary training in the T-6, students are selected for either the airlift-tanker track flying the T-1A Jayhawk, the fighter-bomber track flying the T-38 Talon, or the helicopter track flying the UH-1 Huey at Fort Rucker, Ala.
The 86th FTS flies the Air Force T-1A Jayhawk. The medium-range, twin-engine trainer has cockpit seating for an instructor and two students. The 86th FTS provides instruction in airlift-tanker and fundamentals including navigation, instrument procedures, aerial refueling and airdrop operations.
The 87th FTS flies the T-38 Talon. The squadron provides students with advanced flight training in contact, formation, acrobatics, navigation and instrument procedures for fighter fundamentals.
The 47th OSS has responsibility for airfield operations for one of the busiest airfields in the Air Force to include the control tower, radar approach control facility, airspace and airfield management. The squadron is also responsible for managing the flight records for all aircrew as well as aircraft life support systems. The 47th OSS provides oversight for all weather services in support of the flying mission.
The 47th STUS provides instructional program development and academic instruction for SUPT students. All students, American and international are assigned to the squadron during their time at Laughlin. The student squadron also provides oversight for aircraft simulator operations and all civilian simulator instructors.
The 96th FTS became operational at Laughlin in April 1998. This squadron manages approximately 100 reserve pilots who fly as instructor pilots along with the active IP's in all three aircraft assigned to Laughlin.
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