USAF CSOs Start at Pensacola

Last week the Air Force ushered in its first class of combat systems officers to undergo training at new facilities at NAS Pensacola, Fla., under the supervision of the 479th Flying Training Group, activated last fall. The last class of CSOs undergoing training now at Randolph AFB, Tex., will graduate this year, following BRAC 2005 direction to collocate such training with the Navy in Florida. The new year-long CSO course consolidates navigator, weapons systems officer, and electronic warfare officer into a single training pipeline that also features increased flying “to create a more situationally aware CSO,” said Col. Richard Murphy, commander of Randolph’s 12th Flying Training, which includes the 479th FTG. Officers in the Pensacola CSO course will have 38 sorties in T-6A Texans and T-1A Jayhawks. USAF plans to retire the T-43s used at Randolph this year. (Pensacola report by Capt. John Severns; last Randolph CSO class report by Robert Goetz; 479th activation report by Michael Briggs)