New Jet will Provide Experience for Students who Join the Air Force Civilian Service Upon Graduation
The College of Aeronautics at Hallmark University received a new aircraft to utilize in its mission to train future technicians for the growing aircraft industry. A Northrop T-38 Talon was delivered to the aviation program located at the San Antonio International Airport, the product of a new partnership between Hallmark University and Randolph Air Force Base. The T-38 will be used to train students with new curriculum tailored to the aircraft, giving future graduates experience with the jet if they join the Air Force Civilian Service to work on the fleet of T-38’s at the local Air Base.
The 12th Flying Training Wing operates out of Randolph Air Force Base, primarily utilizing the T-38 to train new pilots for the US military. To keep pace with the growing number of maintenance hours needed to sustain training in San Antonio, the Air Force began hiring more technicians to maintain and upgrade the fleet of aircraft. As the Air Force ramped up recruiting efforts, the opportunity to have Hallmark University provide advanced training to students launched the process to allocate a T-38 to the aviation program.
“The Air Force here in San Antonio needs to hire more Aircraft Technicians to keep up with the maintenance for their T-38’s,” said Kurt Leslie, Dean for the College of Aeronautics at Hallmark University. “When we learned there was a T-38 that we could use in our program, we started to work with the Air Force and Pentagon to get the aircraft here. Now that we have it on permanent loan, we’re designing projects to get our students familiar with the T-38. This way, if students decide to join the Air Force Civilian Service, they’ll have a head-start in their new careers the moment they get hired.”
The T-38 is one of several aircraft used at the College of Aeronautics to train students to work in the aviation industry, providing hands-on experience by working with assets such as turbine engines, sheet metal, riveting, and more. New curriculum designed for the T-38 is under development to train students on engine removal and installation, avionics, and hydraulic systems, which will be incorporated into courses after approval from the FAA.
“The T-38 is very easy to fly and maintain, which is part of why it has remained in service for so long. Air Force pilots use the T-38 as their first experience flying jets after training in propeller-driven aircraft. In fact, the T-38’s in San Antonio are used on an almost constant basis, so they need to have experienced technicians to keep up with the demand. This is a great opportunity for our students to get into an exciting area of the aviation industry and to work on some cool aircraft.”
The T-38 was designed and manufactured during the 1960s as a twinjet trainer capable of achieving supersonic speeds. When the aircraft first began training pilots for the United States Air Force, it emerged as the world’s very first supersonic trainer and remains as the most produced trainer jet in history with over 1,100 units manufactured. Although the T-38 has been in use for the past 60 years, it remains in service today to train pilots around the world, including pilots at Randolph AFB. Upon graduation from the College of Aeronautics, graduates will have the opportunity to work for Hallmark University’s closest partners in aviation in San Antonio and the Nation.