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What are WSOs required to accomplish during IFF? Are they totally separated from the pilots going through?

Popcorn, complaining, inferiority complex polishing, riding along. That about sums it up.

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What are WSOs required to accomplish during IFF? Are they totally separated from the pilots going through?

WSO at IFF, Reference about 4:53 in this video:

Edited by SurelySerious

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What are WSOs required to accomplish during IFF? Are they totally separated from the pilots going through?

WSOs are on their own separate training track as part of a normal IFF class with the pilots. I don't remember offhand how many sorties they have, but it is about half of what the pilots do.

Stud WSOs don't have any dedicated sorties; they piggy-back on the pilot sorties, riding with the flight lead. When the student pilot is flying an offensive BFM ride, the WSO is in the lead/bandit aircraft on a defensive BFM ride. When the pilot is defensive, then the WSO is on an offensive BFM ride.

Most of the purpose is to simply become acquainted with USAF fighter ops; simple stuff, like wearing a G-suit and helmet, un-learning stupid Navy-speak (hopefully a lot of that is gone now), brief and debrief etiquette, and learning all of the other basic formation/BFM/bombing fundamentals that the pilots do.

WSOs will have to be prepped for the brief just as much as their pilot brethren (systems knowledge, EPs, threat of the day). On the ground, they may handle some comm, but there will be a division of checklist duty execution (which doesn't simulate F-15E ops very well, but there are obviously limitations with the T-38). In flight, WSOs are expected to learn to assess the other aircraft; recognize different pursuit curves, recognize range, aspect, closure, and nose position. Apply their awareness of those parameters to WEZs, and know which defensive maneuvers to execute and when in reaction to those shot opportunities. They'll primarily just be doing directive/descriptive verbal comm to the pilot and 'calling' the fight. They will not be hands-on the controls.

The weakness of the program is that, since none of the rides are dedicated training for the WSO, there are limitations to what can be done. For the vast majority of the rides, the flight lead is flying a particular profile to achieve a very specific training objective for the student pilot/wingman. When the WSOs are recognizing threat WEZs and directing 'jink' or 'tighten down' or any one of other maneuvers, often the pilot they are flying with will not/can not actually perform those maneuvers because it conflicts with the profile they are flying for the pilot's benefit.

Really learning how to be a "WSO" is going to happen in the F-15E B-Course. IFF is just another building block like (some) of the other building blocks from CSO school.

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Here's what I learned: I learned how an AF squadron works, I learned to fly in a high-G aircraft (I hadn't had 4 months of training in a T-38 prior to showing up...it was all with old fart-knockers in the T-1/T-39), and I learned what was expected of fighter wingmen. I feel like I already had complaining and inferiority down prior to my arrival.

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Heading to Sheppard in a few months for IFF; what's the policy on living off-base? I currently live off-base now with the GF and we were planning on her heading up there and getting rid of the apartment. I've heard mixed things about this being possible. Anyone know what the deal is?

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Heading to Sheppard in a few months for IFF; what's the policy on living off-base? I currently live off-base now with the GF and we were planning on her heading up there and getting rid of the apartment. I've heard mixed things about this being possible. Anyone know what the deal is?

As a student or instructor? If you're a student, why would you want to live off base? IFF isn't that long.

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As a student or instructor? If you're a student, why would you want to live off base? IFF isn't that long.

That was the best thing about IFF at Moody.

Posted from the NEW Baseops.net App!

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When I was at IFF at KSPS, the non-EN grads were put up in the Homewood Suites (I believe) for the duration.

Caveat - This was 4 years ago...

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It'd be as a student. Thanks for the info guys. It sounds like it's better just to go alone. Our thoughts were have the GF go with me and get a furnished place, then put all of our stuff in a rental and pocket the BAH. My orders list being there for 3.5 months due to the holidays.

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I did exactly that as a student at IFF at SPS. There are a few threads on here about the relevant JFTR sections but basically you get to spend up to but not over the amount of the cost of the hotel for the time you would be there. You can get a furnished apartment, cable, a maid, interwebs, etc all as part of it as long as it's less than the $53.50/day or whatever the AF Inns would have charged you per night. Personally I like eating food at home sometimes that isn't cooked in a microwave so that's why I got an apartment.

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Just want to open this forum up a bit since I just finished IFF, and I know that I tried to find info on IFF before I went. If anybody has questions about the current state of IFF hopefully others can answer here.

I will say that my one piece of advice is that IFF isn't scary and shouldn't be looked at this way (although obviously I only have the reference from one squadron). I remember having this fear that IFF was going to be a washout program, and i isn't that. IFF teaches you how to be a wingman and the very, very, very basics of BFM.

If anybody has questions please ask away.

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Solid call. Glad to see this thread back up on the front page. It's been a while since I went through, but still happy to answer questions about the DBE - 435th.

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The 88th at SPS is a pretty awesome squadron but, depending on who you are flying with, there's no slack. However, most guys have no problem getting through.

Washing out isn't really a huge threat but I've seen about 1 person every other class or so wash out recently (past 6 months). Probably about 25% of the senior class will be on CAP and a ride or 2 away from washing out also. So while it isn't statistically likely to wash out, a few guys walk the line every class it seems.

Some dudes from UPT at SPS went to other bases for IFF and their opinion was that the other bases are a little less of a threat.

If only Over-Gs weren't an auto hook...

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I've heard the opposite in that IFF is a hollow version of its former self and rarely washes people out (i.e. flicks the booger to FTU).  But I heard that from FTU bros, so potentially some bias.  Either way it doesn't matter...work hard and don't be a millennial whiner, then you'll be fine.

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Yep, I'm sure that's exactly what it is. Thanks AF. 

I saw this same thing in the height of the last fighter pilot shortage at Sheppard on the T-6 side. It was damn near impossible to wash out of T-6s and even harder to non-fighter FAIP qual out of T-38s. I spent many an assignment night with my 38 brethren saying “Fighter for that kid? He was terrible in T-6s.” “He didn’t get any better in 38s, but there was nothing we could do...”
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