The best UPT base?

SMan

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I currently have an ANG UPT slot. That being said, I hope to be able to have a say in where I go to UPT. If that's the case, does anyone have an opinion on which base is the best? I'm not concerned about a social life (married, planning on studying). I just want a place that has a reputation as a good school and is a decent place to live. I wouldn't mind flying the T-6 if the opportunity presented itself.... Any opinions and/or advice would be appreciated!

Thx,
SMan
 

TankerPuke

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Laughlin is the best, of course :D Bias not withstanding, I really enjoyed my time at LAFB. I was married with a 1 year old. Studied hard and partied hard on the weekends. San Antonio was about a 2 hour drive away (I think :eek: ) and that was a great place to hang out. We would get a room at Randolph or Lackland for really cheap and go party on the riverwalk. There is absolutely nothing in Del Rio. You do have Lake Amistad for water-skiing and stuff like that. The people of Del Rio were fantastic.

Good luck and enjoy every minute of it!

PUKE

I heard Hell Rio just got a Chili's :cool:
 

Bill Mostellar

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SMan said:
If that's the case, does anyone have an opinion on which base is the best? I'm not concerned about a social life (married, planning on studying).
Thx,
SMan
Columbus, MS would be a good choice for you:
Just enough weather to get you comfortable with actual instruments and give you a "down day" every now and then.
Plenty to do without being distracting: Excellent Hunting and Fishing, Water skiing, Big Cities within a weekend's reach (Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta).
Excellent food: BBQ, Cat Fish and all the Southern staples.
Base housing is usually available when you arrive (good for a spouse who's not planning to work outside the home). If it's not, the local housing is reasonable.

You didn't mention what unit you're with (and I was too lazy to look for your other posts).

I wish you success!
Bill
 

AlbieF15

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I did Columbus and loved it, but I was single. I speak the language, being a native southerner myself, and I loved the whole CBM act. Weather is more of a factor at CBM than some bases, so depending on perspective that can be good or bad. I had buddies who loved Vance, Reese (closed), Williams (closed), and Laughlin as well. I know nobody who did UPT at Moody (just started training....after about a 25+ year hiatus), but Valdosta has nice folks and shiny new T-6s, so I'm sure it would be fine. I thought I did well marrying above myself when I met a beautiful Mississippi Southern belle that for whatever insane reason decided to join me on life's ride, but I"ve got great buddies who have married Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma girls that were also lovely. You are married, but for those searching the boards for gouge I never saw one of those guys who was a "hermit" for 52 weeks do that well, but the guys who knew how to work hard and play hard all seemed to eventually come out on top (sts). A few even found the ultimate UPT souvenier...a wife :D

If you are married and plan on hanging close to home most of your year, I really think your attitude is more important than your location. If you want Del Rio, or Columbus, etc. for a particular reason then I hope you get it...it will make the year that much more enjoyable. What is most important, however, is your committment to A) do your best and B) help your classmates do their best as well. Do A and B and you will not only have a great time, but you'll make friends that will last a lifetime. Speaking of which....after visiting an out of town Eagle bro tonight I got home to find a UPT classmate had left a message on my machine. He helped me get hired by FedEx a few months back. Remember...if you want a friend, be a friend....these UPT guys are going to be in your life a long time.

And like Bill said above....I ate a ton of red beans and rice at Proffits Porch, some catfish from Ruebens, and skied ever chance I got on the Tombigbee. And single guys.....U of Alabama (1 hour), Mississippi State (45 minutes) and the Mississippi University for Women (15 minutes). Get the BOLDFACE down cold, get your first checkride under your belt, then enjoy the best year of your life.....

Good luck and enjoy!
 
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CitationCapt

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Laughlin (Del Rio), of course

I vote Laughlin AFB. A junker car and a carload to San Antonio on weekends. Also cross the border junkets for tequilia.
 
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Padre

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Best UPT base

If you like heat, sure, go to Laughlin. If you like humidity and rain, sure, go to Columbus. But, if you want a great place to fly, with little distractions, an I mean very little, go to Vance.

I spent three years at Vance, and I have to say it was outstanding. The only drawback is the cold wind directly from the arctic in the wintertime. The atmosphere and the people are the greatest there. Go to Vance.

Padre
 

PTWOB

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UPT base

I was at Laughlin for 5+ years and don't ever want to go back. I must tell you though, the flying was great and it would have been a perfect assignment if I had been able to leave right after UPT(or even after a "normal" 3 year tour).

I also spent a few months instructing at Columbus. I was impressed. Weather was worse(great for instrument flying), but the area had a lot more to offer.

I don't know much about Vance, but many of my friends who went there don't have many nice things to say about it. I have no opinion.

Blue Skies
 

Otto

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Went to Vance here and I liked it pretty well. The bottom line is that all the UPT bases are about the same...they're all in little towns in the middle of nowhere yet they're all not too far from cities to get away to on the weekends. (Vance...Oklahaoma City, Laughlin...San Antonio, Columbus...New Orleans) I've heard they're starting up Moody in Valdosta, GA which is only a few hours from Atlanta and Jacksonville. Back in the early nineties they closed down the best bases such as William AFB in Phoenix (THAT would be the deal!!!). With that said, it's really not going to make much of a difference where you go unless you happen to be from nearby. Also, I don't mean to sound negative but I serioiusly doubt you'll have a say in where you go. Relax...it's only a year and it goes by fast. Good luck!
 

FastCargo

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UPT bases....

My personal opinion...

I did the Laughlin AFB thing as a UPT student, did it again as a T-38 instructor on active duty, and doing it AGAIN as a T-38 instructor in the reserves...so I'm a little biased. I will tell you that overall WX is best at Laughlin in terms of how often you fly (This from comparing notes with Vance and Columbus). Also, the routes to and from the MOAs are straight forward because Laughlin owns ALL the airspace within about a 70 mile radius all on the US side. Downside...it's isolated...and it gets HOT during the summer. Any additional questions, please PM me...

FastCargo
 

SMan

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Wow! Thx for the great replies! You've given me lots of info to chew on. Like one of the gentlemen said, there's a decent chance I won't have ANY say in where I go, but if I do, I'll be better prepared to make a decision. Thx again!

SMan

PS. If there are any more opinions out there, I'd love to hear them and it DOES stink that they closed down Willie in PHX. That's where I'm from and I would've loved to fly out of there!
 

T-38Dude

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SMan,

If you happen to be going to a fighter, don't forget about Sheppard AFB in sunny hot hot Wichita Falls, TX. The town is not to bad (about 100,000) and your only a couple of hours away from Dallas and OKC. The flying is great as well. I was a student at Columbus, active duty IP at Sheppard, now a reserve IP at Columbus and have a good friend at Vance. In my humble opinion, the training is pretty darn close no matter where you go. So I would'nt worry to much about it. Just keep in mind, I think Sheppard is the last scheduled base to get the T-6 if your wanting to fly that airplane. Anyway, you've never lived until you've flown that mighty "tweet". Good luck and fly safe.

T-38 Dude
 

SMan

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So, I am flying a fighter and I've thought about Sheppard, although I haven't heard much positive about it (don't know why), except that you get to fly more and less sim time. :) Also, it seems everyone wants to go there since they hand out fighters, but since that's not an issue for me, I'd like to hear other reasons why someone would want to go there. Comments?

SMan
 

F16fixer

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SMan, I think I finally have every thing together for a package to submit for a UPT slot. Sounds like you had the right stuff! Congrats. Is there any advice or help you could throw me to up my chances? I have my BAT, AFOQT, 1st class, and LOR's. Is there any special form you had to fill out and send with your package and what was the interview like if you don't mind. Thanks a lot for any help
 

SMan

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F16fixer,

I definitely feel fortunate to have the opportunity that I've been given. I hope things continue to go well. You never know when something might happen and it all goes away.

I don't recall sending anything special with my packet. I believe I had all of my test scores, BAT, college transcripts, LOR's, cover letter, resume & copy of PPL. I put it all together, along with a nice cover I made that had the unit's shield on it and had it bound at Office Max for a few bucks. I wouldn't spend much money on putting it together. In fact, many people just send their packets in an envelope. I'm not sure how much it matters either way. I just tried to put my best into it and be as professional as I could be.

The interviews were actually quite enjoyable. I did my best to prepare before hand so I could ask some intelligent questions and so I would feel more confident and less nervous. I dug up all the info I could on the unit and memorized names, dates, history, etc. I also studied up on the airframe quite extensively, which really came in handy when I had a chance to talk with the pilots. Both of my interviews were panel interviews. The first one had three pilots and the second one had six I believe. Both interviews were pretty standard behavioral interviews where they asked a myriad of questions from one extreme to another. I had questions about work ethics, morals, education, background, study habits, character, patriotism, family, sports, job experience, leadership ability, etc, etc. They tried some off the wall questions to see if I was a whacko, funny questions to test my sense of humor, difficult questions to see if I could think on my feet, situational questions to see how I would act, and just plain get to know you type stuff.

The best thing for me was to spend a LOT of time preparing beforehand, which really helped me to relax and be myself. Being able to regurgitate statistics about the airframe or call the pilots by name wasn't all that great in and of itself, but it did show them that I was serious about my desire to be a member of the unit and that I was willing to put in the time and effort to get what I wanted. Does that make sense?

The last thing that helped me (I think) was taking every opportunity to show them that I wanted this job more then anyone else. I firmly believed that I did and took every chance I got to let them know that through my actions, words and demeanor. Be careful though, there's a fine line between showing them your desire and annoying them because you won't quit bothering them.

I don't have any magical formula for success, other then work hard, prepare well, give it everything you've got and be persistent. The unit that hired me was my third unit I interviewed at. I sent countless applications and about two years just to get those three interviews and so don't be discouraged if it takes a while. Be patient, do all you can do and hope for the best. If things don't work out at first, be grateful for the opportunity, learn from your mistakes and keep after it. Good luck!

SMan
 

F16fixer

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SMan,
Thanks for the info. That all sounded like good stuff and I'll put it in the memory bank. Did you have to send the same package over and over to the same base at each selection time period or is it a one time deal? I was just wondering if I should make up about 30 packages! Thanks again
 

F16fixer

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SMan,
I did 6 months at Sheppard and if I never had to go back it would be too soon! You can always make the most of where you go, but if you have a choice I wouldn't make SAFB your first. Thought I would try and help you out a little bit. Take it easy.
 

Mud Eagle

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F16fixer said:
SMan,
I did 6 months at Sheppard and if I never had to go back it would be too soon! You can always make the most of where you go, but if you have a choice I wouldn't make SAFB your first. Thought I would try and help you out a little bit. Take it easy.
Bro, if you think your time at Sheppard sucked, then you'd better brace yourself for places like Columbus, Del Rio, and Enid. Wichita Falls is pretty nice in comparison!

If I were going to UPT these days and had any kind of choice as far as just location was concerned, I'd think about Moody.
 

RichO

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Hell-Rio

All the bases are pretty much the same, like all the previous posts have commented.....BUT.....there is only one place you can find Crosby's..................and it isn't at Vance, or Columbus.....
 
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