Iron Talons

The 1st Fighter Wing activated the 71st Fighter Training Squadron as a stand-alone unit to provide T-38 Talon adversary support to the wing’s F-22 Raptors at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., in a ceremony Aug. 21. “For a fraction of the cost, T-38s can provide training support, which not only saves money on training, but allows our F-22 pilots more flying hours,” 71st FTS Commander Lt. Col. Brian Coyne said in a release. The wing’s first T-38s arrived in 2011 and were flown on a rotating basis by 1st FW and Virginia Air National Guard 192nd FW F-22 pilots, sharing the 27th Fighter Squadron stable with the Raptors. The newly minted 71st FTS boasts a fleet of 17 Talons for its dedicated adversary mission, according to the release. The 71st FS “Ironmen” previously flew the F-15C/D Eagle from Langley for more than 30 years prior to the squadron’s inactivation in 2010 as part of Langley’s transition to the F-22.