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IFS DA-20
IFS DA-20

(IFS Diamond DA-20)

IFS (Initial Flight Screening) replaced the Initial Flight Training (IFT) program in October 2006.

  • Designation: 1st Flying Training Squadron (part of the 306th FTG based at USAFA)
  • Location: Pueblo Colorado.  Students are housed, fed, and trained in Doss IFS facilities.
  • Objective: Screen, motivate, and prepare pilot, combat systems officer (CSO), and remote-pilot candidates for entry into Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT).
  • Airfields: Pueblo Memoral Airport, as well as Fremont County Airport and Fowler Airport
  • Aircraft: Diamond DA-20
  • Syllabus: Course includes Academics (14 hours), Officer Development (24 hours), Ground Training (10 hours) and Flying (18 hours - 13 dual flights and 1 pattern solo). (Old syllabus can be seen here)
  • Operated by Doss Aviation, the company that ran flight screening at Hondo, Texas in the 1990s.
  • All active duty UPT students must undergo screening regardless of their PPL status, but AFRES students who hold a PPL do not. The Doss program is still undergoing class changes, but at capacity, the facility will have 14 classes a year.
  • A similar program (called AFS - Academy Flight Screening) was in place for UPT selectees graduating from the Air Force Academy, but has been discontinued, so Academy grads have been added to the Doss contract as well.
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IFS Facility Opened December 2006Minimize

DossIFSBldg.jpgby Tech. Sgt. Mike Hammond
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

12/19/2006 - PUEBLO, Colo. (AETCNS)  -- On a clear, crisp southern Colorado afternoon, throngs of visitors filed through the front doors of the enormous, immaculate building to see the results of more than six months of renovation work come to completion.

But above the buffed tiles and new carpeting on the floor and beyond the brand new gym, dining facility, and 195 new student lodging rooms, the visitors were actually seeing something more important: the gateway to flying training, now and into the future.

Friday afternoon, Maj. Gen. Irv Halter, 19th Air Force commander, joined executives from contractor Doss Aviation, Inc. and leaders from the Pueblo community in dedicating and officially opening the newly renovated 200,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the Pueblo Memorial Airport.

The facility, which has been likened to a "mini-Air Force Base" because of its setup and amenities, will be the site from which the Air Force will conduct flight screening operations to better prepare potential flyers for the rigor of military aviation. It will also identify those not suited for flight duty, which better ensures seats in Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training are available to those with aptitude to complete the training.

Air Force officials at Randolph AFB, Texas announced in May that Doss Aviation, Inc. had been awarded the 10-year, $178 million contract to provide a turn-key operation providing all services, facilities, and equipment to deliver flight screening to future Air Force aviators. In addition to the new facility, Doss Aviation provides all aircraft, maintenance, flight instructors, fire/crash/rescue support, student transportation, office and lodging space, and installation security.

The Air Force provides a contingent of members to oversee the students and provide military training, supervision, and rigor to the course. Detachment 1 of the 306th Flying Training Group, based at the Air Force Academy, is the unit responsible for this role.

"The IFS program was designed to screen for aviation aptitude but also provide the military rigor and camaraderie missing in some general aviation programs," said Lt. Col. John Tomjack, Det. 1 commander. "IFS graduates will arrive at their Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training assignments better prepared to successfully complete the program."

According to current students in the program's second class, the course is meeting that goal. "I feel like I'll go to SUPT with an advantage compared to peers who did not attend IFS," said 2nd Lt. John Herd. The 2006 Air Force Academy graduate worked in the 436th Operation Support Squadron scheduling office briefly before attending IFS this fall. "For instance, we learned to do stand ups and formal briefs, plus how to go through emergency procedures," Lieutenant Herd said. "The mission prep is intense, and the speed at which we have to prepare for academic and flying tests probably makes us more ready to function in an SUPT environment."

When IFS ramps up to full scale operations during the next 15-18 months, it will be the sole source of flight screening for all Reserve Officer Training Corps and Officer Training School aviation candidates -- including pilots, navigators and combat systems officers.

When the next class arrives at the new facility to begin class, the students, like the visitors Friday, will likely first be amazed at the quality and expanse of the facility provided. But by the time they leave, several short weeks later, they may be more impressed by understanding the meaning of General Halter's opening remark that "all big journeys start with a single step."

http://www.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123035779

IFS Operations Began October 2006Minimize

 

KatanasAtPueblo.jpgby Tech. Sgt. Mike Hammond
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

10/13/2006 - PUEBLO, Colo. (AETCNS)  -- As the first students report for class, Air Education and Training Command will formally usher in a new era in flying training when Initial Flight Screening operations begin at Pueblo Memorial Airport today. 

The Initial Flight Screening program evaluates candidates hoping to enter Air Force aviation training either as pilots or combat systems officers. Doss Aviation is the contractor responsible for providing the facilities, flight instruction, aircraft, maintenance, emergency services and more for the program. The Air Force oversees IFS from a quality assurance perspective and also provides the students military training and supervision during the course of their instruction.

IFS is intended to standardize flight screening across the Air Force, according to Lt. Col. John Tomjack, commander of Detachment 1, a geographically separated detachment of the 306th Flying Training Group and the unit providing the military supervision and training to students. 

"The IFS program was designed to screen for aviation aptitude but also provide the military rigor and camaraderie missing in some general aviation programs," Colonel Tomjack said. "When we are at full scale operations, approximately 18 months from now, we will be the sole source of flight screening for all Reserve Officer Training Corps and Officer Training School aviation candidates."

Another positive aspect of IFS will be the introduction to military lifestyle provided during training. 

"Detachment 1 will prepare the students for the rigors of military life and aviation," Colonel Tomjack said. "IFS graduates will arrive at their Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training assignments better prepared to successfully complete the program."

The first IFS class begins with 15 students today. Within two years, the contract calls for every pilot and CSO candidate to go through IFS, except for Air Force Academy cadets, who train through a similar program at the Academy.

http://www.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123028911

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