End of the Line

The Air Force formally retired the T-37 Tweet April 3 as the platform it uses for specialized undergraduate pilot training after some 50 years of service. The T-6 Texan II is replacing it in that role. That same day, airmen held a ceremony at Columbus AFB, MS, the last base to use the T-37 for SUPT, and culminated the event with a four-ship T-37 flyover by members of the base’s 37th Flying Training Squadron. Four days prior, the last T-37 training sortie took place there. “The T-37 has been a symbol of Air Force pilot training for half a century,” said Lt. Col. David Johnson, commander of the 37th FTS. “While getting newer aircraft is always a good thing, the Tweet was a living, breathing piece of pilot training heritage being used on a daily basis to train our young men and women.” The Air Force phased out the T-37 from pilot training programs at Laughlin AFB, Tex., and Vance AFB, Okla., in 2007. T-37s will continue to fly for the near term out of Sheppard AFB, Tex., as part of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program. (Columbus report by SrA. John Parie)