Planes To Be Permanently Assigned To Virgina Pending
Following a successful test run in March 2010 and approval by
Air Combat Command officials, the first of several T-38 Talons from
Holloman Air Force Base, NM, arrived at Langley AFB, VA, April 1
for the beginning of the 1st Operations Group's T-38 Adversary Air
Program. Col. Matt Molloy, the 1st Fighter Wing's commander, and
Col. Kevin Mastin, the 1st FW's vice commander, escorted the
aircraft to here to bolster F-22 Raptor training using
cost-effective training exercises and supplementing flight training
for future pilots.
Col. Matt Malloy Arriving With T-38
Following the completion of an environmental survey in the fall,
the planes will be reassigned permanently to the 1st FW. Wing
officials expect to receive the remaining six T-38s gradually over
the coming months. According to Lt. Col. Derek Wyler, the 1st OG
Adversary Air Program lead, the program provides adversary support
for training scenarios. The T-38s will serve in a "red air," or
enemy capacity, while F-22s will fly as "blue air," or friendly
forces. Each T-38 can be flown as often as three times daily to
provide adversary support at a fraction of the cost of launching a
The reduction of flying time on the Raptor combined with the
lower operating cost of the T-38s will save the wing considerable
money, officials said. "The reduction in the Air Force's inventory
of fourth-generation fighters (F-15s) placed an increased emphasis
on finding a suitable, yet cost-effective platform to keep F-22
pilots current with combat readiness training," Colonel Wyler
explained. "This T-38 program is a very economical solution to a
In addition, the T-38s serve as proficiency trainers for F-22
pilots as the aircraft is difficult to detect when airborne. "This
will sharpen the talons of the Raptor pilots," Colonel Molloy said.
"The T-38 is small, nimble and difficult to find in the air.
Combine that with a low radar cross-section and low electromagnetic
emissions, and this plane will punish a Raptor pilot's mistakes if
they make them."
These processes will take time to build and perfect, but the
arrival of the T-38 is the first step in bringing the project to
fruition. "This is the culmination of a long road," Colonel Wyler
said. "It took a lot of work by a whole lot of people to bring
these planes here. Finally getting an airplane on the ramp at
Langley is a big event."