8th Fighter Squadron departs for dissimilar air combat training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Quion Lowe
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

The 8th Fighter Squadron departed for a temporary duty assignment to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans for dissimilar air combat training, June 21, 2021, here.

The 8th FS is scheduled to fly approximately 110 sorties, giving F-16 Viper students their first opportunity to fly and train with F-15s and F-18s in a different location than their usual airspace. “When you're in one spot, you get pretty familiar with that airfield,” said Lt Col. Matt Marshall, 8th FS director of operations. “The pilots will have to figure out the standards of operating and then operate within a few days. That’s something we do very regularly in the combat air force and this is great practice for the instructors as well. Most of them are going to leave here in a few years and go right back to doing the mission.”

Not only will this training help instill foundational skills for the students, but it will keep the instructors sharp and provide additional training as well.

“This training is going to be incredibly valuable,” said Capt. Andre Golson, 8th FS instructor pilot. “Getting comfortable flying and arriving at a different location is very important in the development of an aviator. As a fighter pilot you don't get as many opportunities to fly to other places like if you were a tanker or cargo pilot.”

This dedication to constant new training and readiness aids in the 49th Wing mission, building the backbone of combat airpower.