LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Capt. James Bloch, 87th Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, was chosen by wing leadership to be this week’s “XLer,” July 19.
The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. George Richey, 47th FTW command chief, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit, and Laughlin’s mission.
Bloch was his wing’s point of contact for “FAIPaPalooza 2017.” The 230 hour operation involved coordinating with leadership, managing more than 30 aircraft from other bases and coordinating an invitation to Gen. Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command commander.
“[FAIPaPalooza] was a great force development opportunity to help expand the tools given to instructor pilots,” Pryor said. “Being able to hear from experienced pilots and instructors only helps to further the student pilot training program, and we couldn’t have done it without Capt. Bloch.”
Bloch led 12 events in three days, including a forum for 10 different squadrons and three major commands, providing leadership development opportunities for 150 officers.
“[FAIPaPalooza] was my first personal experience helping coordinate an event of this size,” Bloch said. “This was the first one we've had here at Laughlin in a long time, so I was grateful to be part of the team that put together the program.”
Bloch raised the standard of excellence in his squadron by supporting his Standardization and Evaluation program by providing a “quality of force” report to his squadron’s commander.
“The squadron is at an excellent state across the board,” said Bloch. “Our reporting picture to the squadron commander detailed our continued capability to produce the world's best military pilots.”
Bloch completed 23 student pilot missions, which totaled 25 hours valued at approximately $61,400. This training helped propel his squadron to become the top T-38C pilot training squadron in all of Laughlin’s student undergraduate pilot training program.
“My goal is to help bridge the potential gap that may exist between the new student pilot mindset and the operational Air Force perspective by preparing students with the proper attitude, study habits, and continued professional development required for their success,” said Bloch. For contributions to his squadron, his pilot training program, and coordination for one of Laughlin’s biggest events in2017, Capt. Bloch has been awarded “XLer of the Week.”