JOHN BARON HOFF, 2/Lt., USAF/Iowa ANG, received his USAF's pilot/military aviator's "wings" on 19 Nov 2010 in a ceremony and presentation at Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, TX. His training program was conducted by the USAF's 47th Flying Training Wing (FTW), Air Education & Training Command (AETC). For the first 6 months of his "Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training" (SUPT) his class of 33 initial candidates all flew the Beechcraft T-6A (the "Texan II") single-engine, turbo prop basic trainer operated by the 84th Flying Training Squadron (FTS). Then, the class was "split", and the specialized "fighter tracked" candidates, which he was in, next flew the supersonic Northrop T-38C ("Talon") Advance Trainer, flown by the 87th FTS (the "Red Bulls"). At the end of the one year of training the class had shrunk to 19 graduates in the "XL" Class of 11-02 (the second class of Fiscal Year 2011). They dubbed themselves "the Inglorious Bastards" (from the contemporary movie with the same name), which they featured on their "class patch". There were 5 trophies presented at the formal graduation. Hoff graduated #1, at the top of his class of 19, and he received all 5 of the awards/trophies. They included: 1) Top Academic, 2) Top Stick, 3) the Distinguished Graduate (DG) title, 4) The AETC Commndant's trophy for leadership and performance, and 5) the Daedalian Society's trophy for the Outstanding Airmanship. Retired USAF Inspector General, Lt. General Steven Polk, was the featured speaker and presenter. On the flight line, in front of his T-38C aircraft, Hoff then had his silver "Wings" pinned on his uniform by his parents and girlfriend, as well as honored guest, USMC Brig. General (Ret.) Hal Fruchtnicht of Houston, TX.
Hoff then entered a highly specialized "fighter lead-in" 9 week course called "Introduction to Fighter Fundimentals" (IFF). It was given there at Laughlin by the 434th Fighter Training Squadron. The training, which was conducted in the T-38C aircraft, included Basic Fighter Maneuvers (BFM), Aerial Combat Maneuvers (BFM), and other aerial combat tactics similar to what was seen in the movie "Top Gun". This program will be completed on or about 15 MARCH 2011.
Hoff will then be transferred from Del Rio, TX to Phoenix, AZ, at Luke AFB, where he will report on 1 April 2011, for a second year of fighter transition training into the ultra-high performance F-16 "Fighting Falcon" combat aircraft, into which he will eventually become fully "operational".
At the end of this second year, Hoff will then return as a new line pilot to his Iowa Air National Guard (ANG) unit, the 132d Fighter Wing, based at the Des Moines (DSM) Municipal Airport. He will be assigned there "full-time" on Extended Active Duty (EAD) for between 18-24 months, while he completes a further rigorous program of "on the job training" conducted by his own 124th Fighter Squadron in the complex and sohpisticated F-16C fighter. At the completion of all this 4 years of training, he will then be certified as being "fully operational" in the F-16C, and thereafter be subject to periodic Mobilization, Deployment and other exercises. He will then end the 4 year period of EAD, be "Discharged" from full-time service, and revert back to normal ANG weekend training and duties.
He then intends to resume his civilian airline career as a First Officer with American Eagle, flying the EMB/ERJ 145 Regional Jet Commuter, based in Chicago. He will have been on a 4 year "Leave of Military Absence" during his military training with the USAF and the Iowa ANG.
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