Becoming a Pilot in the VTANG
The Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) will begin accepting applications beginning January 1st, 2019 and closing March 31st, 2019 for an Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) Board to be held in June 2019. This will be a selection board to hire new F-35 pilots into the VTANG.
Pilot application package must be submitted in full by March 31st 2019. The VTANG will not accept partial packages -- all contents must be accounted for upon delivery to the 134 Fighter Squadron (FS). Candidates will be notified if they are selected for an interview based on the candidate's ability to meet the outlined pre-requisites and the competitiveness of their application. All interviews will be held in person at the 134th FS located in South Burlington, VT.
The 134FS will host an outreach event for all applicants to visit the VTANG in May (dates TBD). Attendance is not required, though this a unique opportunity for applicants to tour some of the aviation facilities and explore the local area. There will also be a tour of an F-16 and a brief from the 134th Fighter Squadron Commander.
Pre-requisites for Pilot Training Applicants
After completion of SUPT, new pilots will attend Land Survival at Fairchild AFB and Water Survival at Pensacola NAS, FL. These two courses take approximately six weeks to complete. Pilots will then attend Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) lasting about 3 months. Finally, pilots will attend the F-35 Basic Course (B-Course) lasting approximately 9 months at either Luke AFB or Eglin AFB.
Upon completion of the B-Course, pilots will return to the Vermont ANG, where they will complete their initial Mission Qualification Training (MQT). During MQT pilots will continue to further their skills to become combat ready fighter pilots. Officers will remain on continuous active duty from the time they begin SUPT until they complete MQT.
After completion of all MQT requirements, the now combat-ready F-35A pilot has the opportunity to revert to a Drill Status Guardsman (DSG, part-time status) or compete for a full time position if one is available. Pilots are required to perform monthly ground and flying duties as required for flying currency and minimum training standards, or as directed by the unit Commander. This entire process will take approximately 4 years.
Captain Michael Sturgis