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NEWS | May 8, 2017

39th FTS Cobras fill the sky at JBSA-Randolph

By Senior Airman Stormy Archer 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Reservists from the 39th Flying Training Squadron executed a training and readiness exercise called Cobras in the Clouds May 4 at JBSA-Randolph, Texas.

The exercise gave 39th FTS members a chance to practice their wartime mission of taking control of the training mission of the 12th Operations Group.

“If something were to happen and we were to recall all of our active duty pilots back to major weapons systems, the reservists would stay here and take over the training mission to keep the pilot pipeline going,” said Lt. Col. Kyle Goldstein, 39th FTS commander. “Doing this reminds us of what our wartime mission is. It keeps us sharp, and it shows the active duty members here that we can do this mission if called upon.”

On the morning of the exercise every training flight, operations desk, supervisor position, and flight control tower were manned by a member of the 39th FTS.

“It’s a really great morale booster to know everyone in the sky was a 39th FTS member, executing the mission and teaching students, Goldstein said. “It builds our pride and shows the active duty members we care about them, and they can count on us to get the job done.”

Currently, 39 percent of the 12th OG is manned by members of the 39th FTS who fill supervisory roles and fly training sorties on a daily basis.

“The relationship between the 39th FTS and the 12th OG is absolutely integral,” said Col. Jupe Etheridge, 12th Operations Group commander. “We could not do our mission without integration of the reserves.

“This exercise is just an acknowledgement of what happens every day.  The Cobras in the 39th FTS are in our flight rooms, our aircraft, our towers and grade sheets. They are forging Airmen that are going to be the next generation of aviators for the Air Force.”

Annually, the Active Duty and Reserve members of the 12th OG help the 12th Flying Training Wing produce more than 850 instructor pilots, 350 combat systems officers.

“Here our Active Duty and Reserve units are tied hand-in-hand doing the exact same mission to produce the absolute best pilots, instructor pilots, combat systems operators, and remotely piloted aircraft pilots that we can,” said Etheridge. “That is the 12th FTW mission and the 39th FTS works right alongside us to do that. When an Airman flies with someone in a 12th OG airplane, they don’t know or care if it’s a reservist or an active duty member. What they want is the absolute best instruction, and that is what they get.”