So our home computer seems to have caught the cold I had last week. It is having a little bit of trouble doing much of anything, let alone turning on. Tonight I will be saving everything I need off the hard drive and we're going to take it in to get wiped clean this weekend. I guess that's what happens when you're laptop is old. So, until I'm able to use our computer, I will be posting at work, which also means less pictures.
I figured today would be a good day to explain how Jon's pilot training/Air Force career works, since many people are interested in this, and not many people understand how it works (I'm not even sure if I know... so take all this with a grain of salt... well maybe take it with a piece of grilled chicken, because I guess I have a good idea of what I'm talking about).
In May, Jon will be graduating from Colorado State and commissioning into the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. We'll go to an important commissioning ceremony, get all dressed up, he'll "pin on" and then we will cool our heels for a while. Because pilot training is a bit backed up right now, we are about 99% sure we will be waiting a few months before we go to Vance AFB in Oklahoma. We still do not know when we will be going, but in years prior, pilot candidates have been reporting for duty around November of the year they commission. We'll let you know when we find out when we leave... but until then we get to hang out in good ol' Fort Collins, CO, which I don't think either of us can complain about.
Once he reports for duty at Vance AFB, he will probably be doing a little more sitting around. He'll get to go in to work everyday, but the training most likely won't start for a few weeks/months. When he finally gets to start his training, he will be going to Alabama for 6 weeks for kind of an "Officer Information Session" when he'll learn everything about being an officer in the USAF (wait, isn't that what he has been doing here at CSU?). After that, he'll come back to Vance to play with me and Duke, and then head up to Colorado for another 6-week training geared toward pilots.
After that (finally), he will start his pilot training. It'll be 12-hour days in the classroom at first, then 12-hour days in simulators and computer labs, and then finally he'll get into a plane and start flying. About a year and a half/two years after we get to Vance, he will "track" an airframe. This basically means, he chooses if he wants to track fighter/bomber planes, cargo planes, or helicopters (I think there is one more option, but I can't be bothered to look it up right now... haha.). I say he gets to choose, but he only gets to choose if he does well at undergraduate pilot training. Otherwise, it will be decided for him. So let's all hope he does well and gets to pick fighter/bomber! (That's his first choice, and mine too, since we will most likely get to stay in Oklahoma for the next part of training.)
So once he "tracks" he will either stay put at Vance, or move to another training base for about 6 months of more intense, more specialized flight training. After those six-ish months are over, he is put into a class rank, and the (available) planes are chosen starting with the first in the class all the way down to the last. Hopefully he gets a fun, safe, exciting plane with great base options. In a perfect world.
After that, he has a ten year commitment. And then we will decide if we want to stay in (our thought right now) or if we want to leave the Air Force and find something else. Are you confused yet? Me too.
Hope this helps explain a little about whats going on in the Air Force part of our lives for the next few years!