Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX
Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) is one of the 5 different places you can attend undergraduate pilot training (UPT) for the Air Force. The benefits are often debated but simply put, ENJJPT is a program designed to produce solely fighter and bomber pilots for the tip of the Air Force spear. Unlike other UPT programs, where you compete with your class in order to earn one of a limited number of chances (drops) to fly the Air Force fighter/bomber trainer, the T-38 Talon, every student at ENJJPT moves on to fly the T-38. Thus, for prospective pilots, ENJJPT is a program to shoot for if you know you want to try and fly fighters or bombers for the Air Force and desire the added benefit of knowing you will automatically transition to the T-38 if you pass the initial phases of UPT. Because of this guarantee ENJJPT is a very competitive and highly selective program. (Note as Air Force capabilities have expanded to fight an irregular global conflict along with a decrease in the demand for fighter aircraft the aircraft assigned out of ENJJPT have began to include new mission platforms like the MC-12, U-28, and UAVs. Also, "heavy" drops have been occurring as well. All in all EN is still a premier place to earn a fighter slot but there are now 21 different aircraft from all over the Air Force mission spectrum available to students.) If you are interested in the details of the ENJJPT program and how you can earn an allocation to attend ENJJPT read on.
History/Background of ENJJPT
The Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) Program, established in the spirit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), is conducted by the 80th Flying Training Wing (80 FTW) at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. ENJJPT is the world's only multi-nationally manned and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for NATO. The 80 FTW is the official USAF designation of this flying training organization, but it is better known as the ENJJPT Wing by its members.
In 1973, the rapidly rising cost of pilot training and the need to improve interoperability of NATO air forces led a group of European nations to examine the feasibility of conducting a consolidated undergraduate flying training program. While pursuing this initiative, the participating countries also hoped to solve other problems such as predominantly poor weather conditions and restricted airspace, which impacted the flying training programs of many NATO air forces.
In 1974, the United States joined the working group and, in addition to the United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey and Canada, proposed a plan to host a joint undergraduate pilot training program. After a thorough review of all the proposals, it was agreed that the United States could offer the best combination of good flying weather, adequate training airspace, existing facilities and growth potential to accommodate proposed annual requirements. Consequently, in 1978, the United States was formally selected to host the ENJJPT program for 10 years as a short term solution, while studies on relocation to a European base continued.
A multi-national working group visited Sheppard Air Force Base to survey the facilities and organization of the 80 FTW, which was already conducting undergraduate pilot training for the German and Dutch air forces. In June 1980, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown announced Sheppard's selection as the site for the proposed program, and the ENJJPT Program held its official opening ceremony Oct. 23, 1981. In 1987, the program was extended to 1989, and in 1989, the program was again extended to 2005. Currently, plans are underway to extend the program to 2016.
The ENJJPT Wing is a uniquely manned multi-national organization with a USAF wing commander and a operations group commander in the top two leadership positions. The OG commander is based on country participation. Command and operations officers' positions in the flying training squadrons rotate among the participating nations, while the commander of the 80th Operations Support Squadron is always from the USAF. Additionally, officers from all 13 participating nations fill subordinate leadership positions throughout the wing. Five nations -- Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway and the United States -- provide instructor pilots based on their number of student pilots. Canada, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Turkey do not have student pilots in training, but do provide one instructor pilot. As an example of this totally integrated structure, an American student pilot may have a Belgian instructor pilot, a Dutch flight commander, a Turkish section commander, an Italian operations office, and a German squadron commander.
ENJJPT is also unique with its four distinct training programs. In addition to Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT), ENJJPT also provides for its own Pilot Instructor Training (PIT--where pilots are taught to be instructor pilots), Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF), and IFF Upgrade Instructor Pilot (UIP) training. About 200 student pilots earn their wings at ENJJPT annually after a 55-week, three-phased training regimen. About 100 new instructor pilots (IP) are trained annually and up to 150 pilots transition through IFF each year. All this training is supported by a staff of more than 1,300 military, civilian and contract personnel employing 209 T-37B and T-38C training aircraft.
The benefits of the ENJJPT Program are many -- lower cost, better training environment, enhanced standardization and interoperability, to name a few. Another important aspect of ENJJPT is the bond of friendship and respect developed among all participants in the 80 FTW. The student pilots and staff instructors of today will be the leaders of NATO's air forces of tomorrow. Having trained together, they will be much better prepared to fight and win together, when the need ever arises.
How to earn an ROTC ENJJPT slot
To apply for ENJJPT in ROTC you have to check a box on your categorization dream sheet usually filled out early in your first semester of your junior year (or senior year if you are on a 5 year program). The box will have a paragraph explaining in brief that ENJJPT is a fighter/bomber only training program and that getting selected and making it through the program will likely put in a fighter/bomber career field. It also explains that if you fail/wash out of ENJJPT you will not be allowed to attend normal UPT. Some Detachment Commanders will require cadets desiring ENJJPT to submit a letter to them as to why they want it and why they think they would succeed there; as noted this will vary from Det to Det.
ENJJPT selection is based strictly on Order of Merit (OM) just as your pilot slot is. Traditionally there are anywhere from 40-60 ENJJPT slots per year out of the usual 500-600 pilot slots. Thus you have to be in the upper ends of all the OOMs that earned a pilot slot for your year group. Usually having an OM in the upper 80s is competitive and in the 90s should all but guarantee you a slot. Feel free to click above OM link to check and see where you stand. If you haven't already received a pilot slot figure out which areas of the OM you can work on to try and get into the 90s. Good Luck
ENJJPT results are traditionally released in September of each FY. i.e. you find out about your pilot slot in March and then ENJJPT 6 months later in September. Make sure you add your pilot slot stats when you get your slot and update your pilot slot stats to ENJJPT when you get your ENJJPT slot! (To learn more about earning an AFROTC Pilot Slot Click Here)
How to earn an OTS ENJJPT slot
Similar to the things that make up the ROTC Order of Merit an OTS ENJJPT slot is going to based on your performance during your 12 weeks spent at OTS. You will be scored and racked and stacked with your OT Class based on PFT performance, Academic Performance, and all other aspects that make up a 'whole person ranking' within your class.
Usually during the 9th or 10th week of OTS there will be a briefing about ENJJPT and then a meeting for all interested candidates. You will be asked to write a memo as to why you want ENJJPT and why you think you will excel at Sheppard. You will then have to sit in front of an ENJJPT selection board and interview with a few 0-5s/-0-6s about the same type of things explained in your memo...why do you want it, why will you excel, why should you get it over OT McLovin etc...
The results will be released when everyone gets their orders or if your instructors see it fit to let you know sooner. Traditionally there has only been 1 or 2 ENJJPT selectees per class. Good Luck and make sure you add your pilot slot stats when you get your slot and update your pilot slot stats to ENJJPT when you get your ENJJPT slot! (To learn more about getting selected for an OTS Pilot Slot Click Here)
How to earn an Academy ENJJPT slot
This should be, statistically, the easiest way to get an ENJJPT slot out of the 3 commissioning sources. That is if you can get admitted to the Academy, understand what you are getting yourself into and are ready to work and study harder than your ROTC or OTS brethren to earn your commission. Though the Academy is a very rigorous 4 years of ivy league level education coupled with an enlisted type active duty military experience the statistics of earning an ENJJPT slot are on your side. The same way you are almost guaranteed a pilot slot if you are medically qualified because of the large number of pilot slots vs the number of people allowed in each graduating class, the ENJJPT drop to the academy is a lot higher percentage than is dropped to OTS or ROTC. Usually there is a very similar number of pilot and ENJJPT slots given to both ROTC and the Academy. The way this works in your favor as an Academy cadet is that there is usually 200 - 300 more commissionees in ROTC than Academy so thus you have a better statistical chance at ENJJPT.
So with that in mind how do you earn it? Everything you do is graded and falls into three major categories that are scored on a 4.0 scale. These categories are academics, military aptitude, and athletics and make up your order of merit. You are ranked against all of your classmates for pilot slots and most everything else usually including ENJJPT. By rule ENJJPT slots are given to individuals hand-picked by the 34th Training Group Commander (O-6 in charge of Cadets). Usually though he/she gives the x number of ENJJPT slots to the top x number of cadets who put Sheppard AFB (ENJJPT) as their number one choice.
Work hard on all your grades, volunteer for key positions, and do some extracurricular activities like Soar, Jump, Arnold Air Society etc. so you can rise to the top part of your class. Then make sure you put Sheppard AFB as your number one base choice and put your first non ENJJPT UPT base choice second. Good Luck and make sure you add your pilot slot stats when you get your slot and update your pilot slot stats to ENJJPT when you get your ENJJPT slot! (To learn more about earning an USAFA Pilot Slot Click Here)
ENJJPT for Guard UPT Selects
Obviously ENJJPT tracks to the T-38 only so in order to even be considered for ENJJPT you have to get hired by a Guard fighter unit. Beyond working hard to get hired by a fighter unit there is really nothing else you can do to 'earn' ENJJPT. Once selected by a fighter unit make sure to let them know Sheppard AFB (ENJJPT) is your preferred base for UPT. Ask them to let AFPC and the Guard Bureau know this when they put in your UPT allocation request. Hopefully AFPC and the Guard Bureau will send you to Sheppard but obviously needs of the service come first and to them it doesn't really matter where you go to UPT since you will track to and eventually fly the airframe your sponsoring unit flies.
Good Luck and make sure you add your pilot slot stats when you get your Guard UPT slot.
If you have questions that you couldn't find the answer to here feel free to ask them on our forums! The forums are frequented by numerous people who have been through this process.