LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Capt. Trevor Ibarra, 85th Flying Training Squadron gradebook officer and instructor pilot, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of Dec. 12, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Lee Gentile, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission.
Ibarra scheduled 160 student training events, tracking 28 students on time as well as managed five instructor pilot’s training.
“Scheduling determines the entire timeline of students graduating on time,” Ibarra said. “As a T-6 scheduler, any missed opportunity is a butterfly effect with huge impacts down the road. If we can’t track students on time through stage two, then stage three could have similar issues, delaying graduation. I’m blessed to get a lot of help from other schedulers and instructors to fill the best option possible for each takeoff, minimizing training loss in an ever changing environment.”
Ibarra took the lead on a brand-new 47th Operations Group parking lot plan, which is on schedule to increase the parking available to base personnel by 1,000 percent.
“The purpose of the parking plan is to create sustainable parking to permanent party assigned to Laughlin,” he said. “As you may know, the number of student pilots being pushed through pilot training has been increasing steadily over the last year and will continue to increase. The current parking situation is not ideal to those who are stationed here for 3-4 years so to alleviate some of the constant drain, I expanded the parking for the operations group. The approval process is still in the works so impact is to be determined, but if passed, I think it will make permanent party much happier.”
After the loss of Laughlin’s Capt. John Graziano, Ibarra played a part in honoring him by ushering guests to the memorial service held on base.
“The whole thing was pretty humbling and felt surreal,” Ibarra said. “While the mood was very sobering, I felt the warmth of the whole base as everyone came together to pay proper respects to Capt. Graziano. While I did not know him personally, I felt it was the least I could do to properly honor him.”
Ibarra also led a student pilot flying solo through an in-flight emergency, walking through the checklist necessary to recover and helped the student land safely.
“Staying cool under pressure is what we teach every day. We prepare students for the worst possible scenarios,” Ibarra said. “That way, if everything goes well, then they should excel, and if something goes wrong, they’re prepared for it. The student flying solo in his jet did a very good job applying what we teach of emergency scenarios every day: maintain aircraft control, analyze the situation, take the proper action, and land as soon as conditions permit. I simply provided mutual support and calmness throughout the rest of the sortie, making sure his head was in the right place.”
Ibarra also brought his instructor pilot community on Laughlin closer this holiday season by kicking off the first “FAIPsgetting.”
“Some fellow instructor pilots were talking about putting something together for the 434th for Thanksgiving and I figured why not include the 85th and make it for all T-6 Nation. We call it ‘FAIPSgetting’ instead because the idea was to have the FAIPs (First Assignment Instructor Pilots) on the receiving end of the table rather than giving. We got both squadrons together and everyone’s family. Everyone chipped in and we had way more food than necessary and great conversations all around. We are looking to start this as a tradition, bringing our squadrons closer together and using a holistic approach to show we care about all aspects of each person’s life, not just related to work.”
Because of his contributions to his workplace, pilot training, his flying community and base as a whole, Capt. Ibarra was awarded the XLer of the week.