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Guest Dirt Beater

IFF (Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals) info

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Guest Dirt Beater

A piggyback of sorts...as far as IPs, are they qual'd to teach all the stuff, or just the stuff from the jet they came from? Would a C-model guy IP for a SA ride?

Also, little bit of a thread hijack, but if you're not already an IP and you go back to the schoolhouse to be an IP, do you have to go to PIT?

[ 26. July 2005, 16:06: Message edited by: NSFW ]

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Originally posted by NSFW:

are they qual'd to teach all the stuff, or just the stuff from the jet they came from?

They're qualed to teach everything.

if you're not already an IP and you go back to the schoolhouse to be an IP, do you have to go to PIT?
Not sure what you mean by 'schoolhouse' but PIT is for UPT. The IFF guys have an internal upgrade program.

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I am headed to Moody for IFF in about a week and I have heard several horror stories about one squadron versus the other as far as washout rates. Several dudes I have talked to that went through the supossed non horrific squadron claimed things like "seven guys washed out while I was there" from the other squadron.

I've heard this from more than one person, what is the deal? Are they given the students that did worse in UPT?? Is it a washout mentality?

Is there anything I can do besides memorizing the standards, shutting up, acting like a sponge, having a good attitude and attempting to bring my A-game every flight? Besides other standard stuff: don't scare lead, don't over-g, don't overfly bingo etc.

Is there anything that really to's IFF instructors that make them more apt to hook one student over another?

Furthermore are these rumors unfounded or are they true? I've tried searching so if this has been discussed before I apologize.

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Guest C-21 Pilot

Hacker is the one to answer since he's a current IFF IP...

But as an instructor/evaluator, I can tell you that the the standards are all the same, as prescribed in the Vol.2. Mindbeit that there is the human factor as well, and assumption plays a major role in subjection...as in any evaluation - which is what EVERY ride is.

If one Sq washes out more than other, I'd find that a mere fact of "weaker studs" than a notion of harder IP's, etc.

For what it's worth, I haven't walked those halls.

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Guest Hoser

Ktulu,

Not sure which squadron you are talking about, but I went through the 49th Black Knights back in Apr 02. I'm sure most of the dudes that I flew with are gone by now (in fact one of them just showed up in my current squadron), but I throw in my 2 cents.

It's not like one squadron gets the good dudes and the other gets all the weak swimmers. As with anything else, it all depends. During my T-38 FAIP days, there would be some classes where it was almost a 6 way tie for DG, and then there would be a class where you couldn't figure out how any of them made it to T-38's in the first place. There is a new IFF class starting every couple of weeks, and the classes alternate between the 2 squadrons. I wouldn't say it's a washout mentality at all.

As for what you can do, you've already listed them. "2, Joker/Bingo, Lead your on fire, I'll take the fat one". As for answering a question from an IP in the breif/de-brief, don't try to wow them with your infinite knowledge of a particular system, or start quoting 11-2T/AT-38, just answer his quesion with as few words as possible. I found myself answering many questions with "I suck" and that seemed to go over well.

As for what TO's IP, it's having a negative learning curve. There was nothing more frustraing to me than seeing a student make the same mistake over and over again. It not the end of the flight if you make mistakes, but the flight will get painful if you don't learn from your previous mistakes. The IP's know you are not going to master Defensive BFM in 4 rides, but they are looking to see if you can progress in the phase and if you have what it takes move onto your FTU.

I'm sure Hacker will have more words as well. Good luck to you. Check Six!

Hoser

[ 05. September 2005, 21:09: Message edited by: Hoser ]

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Guest joeschmoe

YES everything you've heard is true!!! they're trying to washout everyone to make the BRAC transition easier. j/k. seriously though, as a IFF stud who just recently finished and is about to start FTU, no it's not as bad as you've heard. one sq did have a string of washouts, while the other had none, but maybe it was just an unfortunate coincidence. the 3 months i was there (i had A to C conversion) no-one in either sq washed out. mission prep, admin and attitude can go a very long way. and as i was told, IFF is wingman school not BFM school.

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Guest Snooze

IFF is no different than any other formal course. We have standards and if you demonstrate the ability to meet those standards, you pass. Simple as that. These horror stories always seem to get worse when they make their way back to the UPT bases. I can assure you that we are not looking to washout anyone. What students do not see is what goes on behind the scenes when someone is struggling. We go out of our way to make sure that someone on increased or marginal status gets the utmost support from the squadron. We do not throw anyone to the wolves.

But here's the bottom line: You cannot control which squadron you get assigned to, so don't worry about it. Come prepared, study hard and have the confidence to know that regardless of who you fly with, you are going to do well.

Fighter pilots don't have inflated egos because their job is easy. It's difficult, but it's worth it.

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Guest rumblefish_2

Show up prepared. That's my biggest piece of advice. Even if you fly terrible that day (and it's not demo pro), you may make it out unscathed if you prepared well. I found that in the debrief, most questions can be answered with "yes, no, good, bad" (or I suck as mentioned earlier), or "I don't remember." Like mentioned before, don't try to wow them with your knowledge, just answer the question you're asked with as few words possible. Believe me, your attitude can take you far (or not far).

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Guest UT-38stud

I was in the squadron you hear the horror stories about, while i was there (Oct 04)...7 dudes washed out of our squadron (1 from my class), 0 in the other. My observation was there was no difference...there is a lot of *****ing b/c a dude would hook a ride b/c he busted the "bubble" in squadron X, but another guy passed in squadron Y. You will find that most students exagerate a great deal when they hook(i.e they busted the bubble multiple times not just once). Most of us were so petrified we thought hooked every other ride before the de-brief b/c of one thing we screwed up...i found that was just NOT the case.

best advice:

1)Keep your mouth shut and only answer the question they ask...i.e. don't ramble, or try to b.s and if you don't know, say you don't know!

2)I sucked or screwed up is always the best answer (See a pattern?)

3)Don't over-G

4)Strive for perfect admin...they will teach you the rest...notice i said "strive"

5)Finally, understand...it is a bit of a haze, but you are about to be a fighter pilot, there is no room for the UPT, hold my hand mentality anymore...but once you are through it is all worth it.

Good luck and don't stress too much...you won't have a lot of studying so that's a positive, and Valdosta kicks more ass than any UPT base!

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Well thanks to everyone with the advice it is appreciated.

One more question, what impact does the particular rtu have on IFF? If Luke gets a bunch of guys that can't hack it and washout, does this cause viper drivers to go under more scrutiny at IFF? Or is it just handled at Luke? Likewise with A-10's and all the other fighters.

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Again, Hacker would be the definite authority, but I doubt it. At IFF, the only thing that makes a Viper guy a Viper guy is the fact that he chose that assignment at the end of UPT. When he begins IFF he is generally no different than the F-15C, F-15E, and A-10 guys that show up. Even by the end of IFF, the different syllabi don't make a huge difference.

If a bunch of guys washed out of FTU, I would question the UPT or IFF system for letting them through, not the group of students. That being said, I've never seen or heard of a 'bunch of guys' washing out of the FTU.

Minor point - it's FTU now, not RTU.

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Guest Snooze

Toro is right. No consideration is given to what weapon system the student is going to. Like I said. If the student can meet the standards, he or she passes. That's it.

However, I have decided that I don't like the tone of your voice, so therefore I will make sure that we give you no leeway whatsoever.

By the way, "I'm just f-ing with you, Ted"

See you in a few days.

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Guest Rainman A-10
Originally posted by Snooze:

Toro is right. No consideration is given to what weapon system the student is going to.

I had a ton of fun at Holloman. I liked learning BFM, loved raging around low level and I had an absolute blast dropping bombs for quarters. I never once worried about washing out, you shouldn't either. Successful fighter pilots don't focus on failure.

LIFT was not, however, all fun and games. The IPs could be XXXtreme pricks. I now know why but back then it just seemed like they were sometimes trying a little too hard and were a little over the top. When I went through LIFT I seemed to end up flying with the Eagle guys. They would say derogatory stuff about the A-10 and how stupid I was for asking for an A-10 and how slow the A-10 guys were and how it was no wonder I sucked at BFM because I was going to an A-10 and A-10s suck and dropping bombs is a waste of time and dropping a bomb is easy, just like flying an ILS and all sorts of crap like that. I didn't need to take that sh!t off those guys but I also didn't take it personally and I didn't care what they thought about the A-10 or my decision to fly it. I learned a lot form them...both good and bad examples of instructional technique.

Again, I didn't give a sh!t what any of those Eagle guys thought about the A-10. I knew they were there to teach me the fundamentals of being a fighter pilot and the tough guy/cool guy/editorial comments about how much the A-10 sucked compared to the F-15 mattered more to them than they did to me. I had spent most of my life with someone grabbing me by the facemask screaming at me how I needed to get smarter and more aggressive and kick the sh!t out of my opponent or anyone with a different colored jersey so this was nothing new. This was all pre-Desert Storm and before either the A-10 or the F-15 had seen any combat. I was there for 25 rides and then I was going off to fly my number one choice and I was never going to see them again.

Oops, not quite true. I ended up seeing a bunch of them again. I saw one Eagle guy a couple years later at Long Rifle...he had transitioned to the Strike Eagle. As I stood holding with the big gun I had just won I asked him if dropping bombs had gotten harder or if he was just a sh!tty instrument pilot. I bumped into more of those guys down the road while I was having a blast in the A-10 and the guys who had been the biggest asspipes at Holloman seemed to be the most unhappy back in the real world...maybe it was a personal/attitude problem? It was fun to see them as average pilots out in the real world after they had acted like they were the greatest fighter pilots on earth back at Holloman.

Big picture, don't be a or they will eat you alive (you need to get some courage before you start flying the A-10...Hog combat sorties are much more of a threat than IFF will ever be). Try to pay attention to what they are really trying to teach you, they have been there and done that and they all know what they are talking about. Most importantly (except for not being a )...keep your mouth shut.

Enjoy the flying, it will be the most fun you have had in a USAF airplane so far unless you are pissing down your leg everyday on your way into work.

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Guest Mouse

Can anyone update me on the current status of IFF? I believe it's moved to Randolph (and maybe Vance?). How long does it take? How many BFM rides?

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As far as I know, IFF is still operating at Randolph, Laughlin, Columbus and Sheppard. Word on the street is that Laughlin's is on the verge of shutting down. I don't know all the specifics, but there are 2 blocks of BFM - OB and DB, about 4 rides each. Then, airframe dependent, there are some ACM rides thrown into the mix. The program is supposed to last six weeks. Again, those with better or recent knowledge please chime in.

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Can anyone update me on the current status of IFF? I believe it's moved to Randolph (and maybe Vance?). How long does it take? How many BFM rides?

Where is it? SPS, RND, END, DLF, and CBM. Vance and Laughlin may close up shop in the next 2 years.

How Long? About 6 weeks, depending on track, student load, WX

How many BFM rides? A Track (going to F-15C): 4 OBFM, 4 DBFM, 4 HABFM, 4 ACM

B Track (F-15E or F-16): 4 OB, 4 DB, 2 HA

C Track (A-10): 2 OB, 4 DB

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Where is it? SPS, RND, END, DLF, and CBM. Vance and Laughlin may close up shop in the next 2 years.

How Long? About 6 weeks, depending on track, student load, WX

How many BFM rides? A Track (going to F-15C): 4 OBFM, 4 DBFM, 4 HABFM, 4 ACM

B Track (F-15E or F-16): 4 OB, 4 DB, 2 HA

C Track (A-10): 2 OB, 4 DB

Hacker, are they still teaching range rides for the Strike Eagle, Fighting Falcon, and Hawg studs?

I assume (you know what that means) they are because they show up kind of sort of familiar with ITP bombing in the FTU.

Edited by Muscle2002

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Hacker, are they still teaching range rides for the Strike Eagle, Fighting Falcon, and Hawg studs?

I assume (you know what that means) they are because they show up kind of sort of familiar with ITP bombing in the FTU.

Yes, all the B and C track studs do both conventional and tactical range patterns.

When I was an IFF IP, most guys only taught ITP bombing to the Hog students, with DIL/BFL % being taught to the F-15E and F-16 students. My understanding is that ITP/IAA bombing is now the prevailing technique taught to all students.

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BFM was a complete waste of time.

It doesn't apply to *any* of the aircraft beyond fundamentals. Sorta why the course is titled that, ya know.

Every aircraft has a different way of skinning the BFM cat. Jet performance and weapon capability is the cornerstone of development of BFM tactics.Unless you're out shooting AIM-9Ps and gun only in a T-38, OF COURSE your BFM tactic is going to be different.

It was funny to see new upgrading IPs come to Moody, with each thinking that their MWS' way to fly BFM was the way to do it, and whatever "we" were teaching was wrong. The same thing applied to bombing, too.

Regardless, if you think that IFF is about learning BFM or bombing, then you've completely missed the point.

Edited by Hacker
  • Upvote 1

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Guest Mouse

Why do you ask?

To answer your question, I'm a former fighter pilot (originally Navy but finished up USAF Reserve F-16s) and wrote a book on fighter tactics (Fighter Combat-Tactics and Maneuvering). I'm currently a defense contractor and we're proposing some research to determine the cost-effectiveness tradeoffs of teaching INITIAL/INTRODUCTION TO BFM (and maybe some other topics) in something other than T-38s. For instance, we'd like to look at prop trainers (like the CJ-6A, Yak-52, Marchetti S-260), the new dynamic (centrifugal) simulators, and even fixed-base sims. I'd be happy to get your opinions on this idea...and I'm sure there are opinions. ;)

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proposing some research to determine the cost-effectiveness tradeoffs of teaching INITIAL/INTRODUCTION TO BFM (and maybe some other topics) in something other than T-38s. For instance, we'd like to look at prop trainers (like the CJ-6A, Yak-52, Marchetti S-260), the new dynamic (centrifugal) simulators, and even fixed-base sims.

Terrible idea, IMHO. Based on aircraft that IFF grads are going on to in the future, there would be absolutely nothing gained by doing that.

Remember that the whole benefit of IFF is teaching in an aircraft that students are all ready familiar with, so they can go right to the tactical portion without having to waste time/fuel/money learning a new aircraft.

Plus, the turn circles, energy, overall performance, etc, would actually be negative training.

That whole course could be combined into the the end of the UPT syllabus for what it teaches.

This was an object of significant discussion when Moody was broken up and BRAC mandated that IFF moved to the SUPT bases. There was at least one OG and Wing CC who DEMANDED that IFF simply become a flight attached to the T-38 squadron on his base...that it was not going to be a separate squadron.

The problem with that line of thinking is that a significant portion of IFF also has to do with how to function in a fighter squadron VS a SUPT squadron -- organization, mentality, etc. The IFF squadrons are also ONLY populated by fighter dudes, who all have at least one tour of real world experience to back up what they're teaching. I've personally been involved with trying to make an SUPT T-38 squadron resemble an IFF squadron in what they're teaching and how they're teaching it, and unfortunately that is just a bridge too far. The whole makeup of the SUPT squadron would have to change, less a major portion of what's taught at IFF be lost.

There are also issues with teaching the SUPT IPs how to do all of the stuff that is taught in IFF. Don't forget that the IFF UIP program is just as long as PIT, and more difficult. Think about having to maintain currency and competency in all of the different IFF tasks ON TOP OF all of the different SUPT tasks. Just not realistic.

I don't know of a single IFF IP who would ever advocate that.

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I agree with Hacker; IFF having its own squadron, jets, crew chiefs, building etc is key to its mission. I hated IFF, but I thought it did a good job of instilling the mentality that your jet is a weapon and you are to employ it as such. You are no longer flying an airplane for the sake of flying an airplane. Had IFF been just an extension of UPT without a change of environment and culture, that lesson would not have been taught. The BFM and other tactics may not transfer to follow on jets (6K' DB set to a separation) but I think other, more important lessons do.

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I agree with Hacker; IFF having its own squadron, jets, crew chiefs, building etc is key to its mission. I hated IFF, but I thought it did a good job of instilling the mentality that your jet is a weapon and you are to employ it as such. You are no longer flying an airplane for the sake of flying an airplane. Had IFF been just an extension of UPT without a change of environment and culture, that lesson would not have been taught. The BFM and other tactics may not transfer to follow on jets (6K' DB set to a separation) but I think other, more important lessons do.

Ok, so why can't that mentality start at the beginning of T-38s? The same dudes that instruct at IFF can teach the basic jet stuff while keeping the mentality. Or, if you don't want to start that early, you can teach all the flying stuff in UPT and let the B-course do the hard knocks of fighter pilot 101. It's not some cosmic reality that takes 6 weeks to learn.

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Guest

Ok, so why can't that mentality start at the beginning of T-38s? The same dudes that instruct at IFF can teach the basic jet stuff while keeping the mentality. Or, if you don't want to start that early, you can teach all the flying stuff in UPT and let the B-course do the hard knocks of fighter pilot 101. It's not some cosmic reality that takes 6 weeks to learn.

UPT is about learning how to fly your own airplane and it is all about you. An important part of IFF is knocking the UPT "it's all about me" mindset out of you.

IFF helps you understand what wearing the jet around really means as part of something bigger than yourself...part of a team. IFF teaches you that other people are depending on you to be in the right place at the right time on the right freq doing the right thing while keeping track of your team mates and providing them mutual support without dumping everyone's SA or forcing anyone else to waste time waiting for you or having to come home early because you did something stupid like use too much gas or fly out of the airpace or foul on the range.

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Ok, so why can't that mentality start at the beginning of T-38s? The same dudes that instruct at IFF can teach the basic jet stuff while keeping the mentality. Or, if you don't want to start that early, you can teach all the flying stuff in UPT and let the B-course do the hard knocks of fighter pilot 101. It's not some cosmic reality that takes 6 weeks to learn.

I will tell you from personal experience that it can't be done given the current overall leadership mentality and manning in an SUPT T-38 squadron.

I have been in a T-38 SUPT squadron that had an ex-IFF IP for a CC, a DO, and several of the ADOs. They were desperately trying to bring such a mentality to the SUPT Phase III pipeline. Despite some very extensive efforts to change the way things were taught and executed (lots of academics for the IPs, etc), it wasn't possible to make the change -- it was trying to change the direction of a cargo ship with swim flippers. All of that with a relatively supportive Deputy OG and OG who saw validity in such a push.

With a cadre of reservists who have taught the 'SUPT way' for a long time...with FAIPs....with bomber dudes....it just wast WAY too much effort to even move things in the direction of running like an IFF squadron. It was really a failing enterprise. How can you teach an IP to instruct the fighter way if he's never been in a fighter before? How can you enforce fighter-style briefing and debriefing standards/etiquette with a flight lead who has never led such a sortie in real life? If you can't even get the IPs to operate using that standard, it's impossible to get those guys to teach the STUDENTS to do it.

I was the one teaching many of the academics at the squadron in question, and it was very defeating to stand in front of a room teaching guys how to teach something as simple as a G Ex, and then face 30 minutes of "questions" afterward of dudes (all the non-fighter guys or reservists who'd been doing it a particular way forever) telling me why that method wouldn't work...even though that's precisely the way it is done across the way in the IFF squadron quite successfully.

If someone was really serious about making such a change permanently, they'd have to flush the current cadre of IPs, ensure there was a complete buy-in at PIT (which, oh my God, is a completely different conversation all together), and train up IPs from the start to foster that fighter squadron attitude, operations standards, and instructional techniques.

The bottom line is this: the fighter squadron mentality of an IFF squadron is something that is fostered and cultivated intentionally. If it weren't, it would atrophy into any other "ain't even thinkin' combat" squadron very easily. It's just about fucking impossible to push the SUPT squadrons the other direction, ESPECIALLY in the time when T-38 students are getting assigned to all different airframes. Not to mention that there are OG/CCs and CDs who may not see value in bringing such a mentality to Phase III (believe it or not, it actually happened).

That separate squadron, with it's separate fighter-only attitude and mentality, is key to the process.

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