Texans Over Sheppard

The 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard AFB, Tex., started its first training course with the T-6A Texan II trainer aircraft Aug. 29 as six undergraduate flying trainees from the 89th Flying Training squadron took to the air for the first time under the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program. The T-6A replaces the T-37 Tweet trainer that the Air Force used for about 50 years. Sheppard took delivery of its first Texan IIs in January and is expected to have its full complement of about 70 by December 2009. Col. David Petersen, 80th FTW commander, said the T-6A is a “great step forward,” with its modern avionics, onboard GPS navigation, built-in parachute, and pressurized cockpit. (Sheppard report by John Ingle)