The U.S. Air Force has chosen to exercise DynCorp International’s fourth option year for an aircraft maintenance support contract at Sheppard Air Force Base (AFB) in Wichita Falls, Texas.
“We are proud to continue working with the U.S. Air Force to support the world’s only multi-nationally-manned and managed flying training program,” said Jim Myles, senior vice president, DynAviation. “We are committed to keeping these aircraft ready for the next generation’s pilots.”
Under this contract, DI team members provide aircraft maintenance services for the 80th Flying Training Wing based at Sheppard AFB. The initial contract was awarded in 2009, with an 11-month base period and six, one-year options. The current value of the contract, if all options are exercised, is $184.9 million.
The mission of the Air Education and Training Command’s 80th Flying Training Wing is to provide undergraduate pilot training for the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program. Graduates of this prestigious program are assigned to fighter pilot positions in their respective air forces.
Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program
The Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT) was established in 1973 as the rapidly rising cost of pilot training and the need to improve NATO air forces led a group of European nations to consider combining efforts to develop a consolidated training program. By 1974, the U.S. joined the working group that included Canada, Italy, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The group eventually determined that the U.S. would be the most appropriate host for the program considering factors such as flying weather, training airspace, existing facilities and program growth potential. In 1978, the U.S. 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.
ENJJPT Comes to Sheppard AFB
In June 1980, Sheppard AFB was selected as the site of the ENJJPT program, as the 80th Flying Training Wing was already providing undergraduate pilot training for the German and Dutch air forces. 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.
ENJJPT also provides for its own pilot instructor training (a program that teaches pilots to be instructor pilots), Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) course, and IFF Upgrade Instructor Pilot training course. About 200 student pilots graduate ENJJPT annually after a 55-week, three-phase training regimen. These training programs are supported by a staff of more than 1,300 military, civilian and contract personnel employing 242 T-6A, T-37B and T-38C training aircraft.