command patchVT-31 Wise Owls // Training Air Wing Four

Our History

Established: February 1958

Training Squadron THIRTY-ONE began training Student Naval Aviators in February 1958 as Advanced Training Unit 601. The unit, assigned to NAS Corpus Christi, flew the Beechcraft SNB multi-engine aircraft as an instrument and navigation trainer. Commissioned as VT-31 on 1 May 1960, the squadron"s scope of training expanded with a new aircraft, the P2V 'Neptune,” replacing the aging SNBs. In January 1961, VT-31 continued its expansion with the acceptance of the first P5M 'Marlin' for the advanced training syllabus.

In 1963, VT-31 transitioned to the TS-2A 'Tracker.' For the next 15 years, the command used the TS-2A in all facets of advanced multi-engine training including carrier qualifications. VT-31"s transition to the Beechcraft T-44A began in the spring of 1977, and on 8 February 1979, the last TS-2A departed the command. The T-44A is the military version of the popular Beechcraft King Air 90 and is equipped with a full range of avionics equipment for instrument conditions including a weather radar and RNAV. Students, as well as instructors, appreciate the fully pressurized and air conditioned cabin that provides an ideal learning environment. In addition to the aircraft, the students also receive instruction in fully computerized synthetic trainers. These devices are able to simulate virtually any instrument flying condition and allow students to fly numerous instrument approaches.

In 1996, VT-31"s training role continued to grow. A USAF joint training program was established and VT-31 opened its doors to all Air Force C-130 students. With the number of students almost doubling, the need for more aircraft became apparent.

With the T-44A no longer in production, the Navy chose the versatile UC-12B to support the current fleet of T-44A aircraft. With its revised role to train student military aviators, the UC-12B’s designation changed to the TC-12B. Commissioned in October 1999 to fly the TC-12B, VT-35 emerged VT-31’s sister squadron and assumed responsibility for approximately one-third of the multi-engine aviators. VT-31 continued to train the remaining aviators in the T-44A.

In January of 2007, VT-31 began upgrading its fleet of 54 T-44A aircraft to the T-44C. The T-44C’s digital Pro Line 21 cockpit instrumentation provides student aviators with state-of-the-art pilot training ensuring a near seamless transition to newer Fleet aircraft.

The squadron currently has 54 T-44C aircrafts. In 2010, VT-31 celebrated its 50th Anniversary of flight training. In 2012, the USAF parted ways with VT-31 and now trains solely at USAF facilities. From the SNB to the T-44C, VT-31 continues to set the standard in advanced multi-engine training. VT-31 is one of four training squadrons attached to Training Air Wing FOUR and is one of two advanced multi- engine training squadrons in the Navy. The squadron trains students from the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and foreign students in all phases of advanced multi-engine flight procedures to include Aircraft Familiarization, Radio Instruments, Airways Navigation, Visual Navigation, and Formation flying. After receiving their 'Wings of Gold,' the newly designated military aviators head to their particular aircraft, a P-3C Orion, EP-3E Aries, E-2C Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound, E-6 Mercury (Navy), C-130J Hercules (Marine and Coast Guard), HU25 Falcon, or HC-144A Ocean Sentry (Coast Guard).

VT-31 carries a staff composed of approximately 47 officers and 8 civilian personnel. The squadron utilizes DynCorp International for their contract maintenance, which employs a totally civilian maintenance force. The squadron"s primary mission continues to be training the finest military aviators in the world.

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