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NEWS | Jan. 10, 2020

Pilot Training Next’s third class underway at JBSA-Randolph

By Jennifer Gonzalez Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Pilot Training Next begins the New Year with the start of the third iteration at Joint Base San Antonio-RandolphJan. 8.

The PTN program is part of Air Education and Training Command’s initiative to “reimagine” how learning is delivered to Airmen. 

The third iteration consists of 16 students: 11 U.S. Air Force officers, two U.S. Navy officers, one U.S. Marine Corps officer, one Air National Guard, one Royal Air Force officer and 16 instructors.

PTN version three will build on the success of the first two classes by incorporating the newest learning theories such as time-space-retrieval, deep repetition and student-centered learning.

“We want to know what the required revisit rate is to ensure student pilots possess the basic skills they need to pilot an aircraft,” Lt. Col. Ryan Riley, Det. 24 commander, said. “The more airmanship you build, the longer you can go between revisits.”

PTN version three will also utilize the more advanced T-6B Texan II’s for flight training. The use of the T-6Bs will test the ability to train formal training unit-ready pilots with combat, mobility, and special operations competencies taught earlier in the training curriculum.

“We must create pilots who can rapidly ingest complex information and perform,” said Lt. Col. Robert Knapp, Det. 24 operations officer. “These planes will help us to create a better product at the end of the flying training pipeline.”

Unlike the T-6As, which PTN previously used, the T-6Bs have advanced cockpits that PTN modified with an avionics system designed specifically for the curriculum. The U.S. Navy loaned the planes to PTN.

“This is a true strategic and symbiotic relationship with big wins,” Riley said. “Both of our services need the best trained aviators who will excel at flying in a complex battlespace. This program is testament to this partnership and I’m very excited to have Navy and Marine students and instructors as part of our innovation journey.”

The class is expected to run for six to eight months.