by Airman 1st Class Emily A. Kenney
49th Wing Public Affairs
6/17/2015 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- On
June 16, 12 F-16 Fighting Falcons arrived at Holloman Air Force Base as
part of the 314th Fighter Squadron stand up scheduled for July 14.
The arrival of these aircraft not only signifies the new beginning for
the 314th FS, but also a continuation in training the world's best F-16
fighter pilots at Holloman.
"The 314th is a tenant unit from Luke Air Force Base," said Lt. Col.
Heath Wimberly, 314th FS director of operations. "As the 308th FS at
Luke graduated their most recent class, they're beginning their
deactivation. However, we still need to train F-16 pilots, so we moved
that aircraft here to continue to be able to accomplish the flying
However smooth the transition to Holloman was, Wimberly said the move
has been in the works since January and thousands of man-hours went into
making it happen.
"We found out the 314th stand up was in July and we started working it
in January," said Wimberly. "We begin class the day after we stand up,
so we knew we had to get to work."
On July 15, the day after the stand up, the 314th will begin training instructor pilots.
"We have 10 pilots here that are just waiting be trained to become
instructor pilots," said Wimberly. "Some of them already have experience
as instructors, so we just need to refresh them. It should take between
a few weeks and about four months to have them all trained and ready to
Shortly after the instructor pilots have finished their training, the 314th will begin training student pilots.
Wimberly said as the 314th stands up, the 314th Aircraft Maintenance
Unit is also standing up, bringing hundreds of new airmen to Holloman.
"We couldn't do what we do without these airmen," said Wimberly.
"Without them, our jets would only fly for a day. They're the ones out
there sweating in the hot sun and getting the mission done, without
having the actual luxuries of flying the jets. I look forward to having
these new airmen here at Holloman working on our jets and helping us
train the world's best fighter pilots."