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So I've been here at Vance AFB for about nine days and today marks day one of pilot training. I come away from a day full of briefings with three things: 1. Pilot training is going to be very hard and at times quite miserable. 2. Despite all the suckiness, this is just training, not reality, and thus after this year we will enjoy flying in the real world. 3. An 8 inch high stack of papers to start studying.
I think our Flight Commander did a good job summarizing what all of the commander's in our chain of command that briefed us this morning basically said with this: Pilot training is like purgatory, just a step above hell, where at the end hopefully an angel will give you your wings... At least things will start out slow, and just ramp up as the year goes on. Like for the first couple weeks we will actually be given time for lunch these first couple weeks. Additionally, the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) has placed stipulations on our training that we can't exceed more than 6 hours of testable classroom instruction per day, and no more than a 12 hour duty day.
I must say, thought that at least we aren't being fully babied like we were at the Academy. While many argued to us that this is even harder than our previous experiences in college or basic training, at we do get more freedoms. Physical Training (PT) for example, just has to be done for an hour at least three times a week, as a group, and our PT test is coming up in a month.
The facilities at the base still amaze me. While everything this side of the flight line consists of an area about .6mi by .8mi, and there isn't a dining facility on base, everything that we do have just seems immaculate. Like to the point I feel like I'm on the set of “The Truman Show” or “Pleasantville” or something. All the buildings and equipment are very well kept and up-to-date, all the grass areas are all green and very well trimmed, and even the barbeque's set up around he Unaccompanied Officer's Quarters (UOQ's or “Dorms”) are hooked up to gas lines coming directly out of the ground. There's even so few people around the base (about 400 students go through Vance each year, and there are 22 students in our class) that as I was walking across base from the Gym (a whole 7 minute walk) there was a young girl just riding her bike down the middle of the road. Anyways, I just feel kinda like I'm in the twilight zone or something.