The 2nd Main Jet Base Command in Izmir, the "pilot nest" of the Turkish Air Forces Command, prepares jet pilots for duty to defend the homeland with their steel wings.
The 2nd Main Jet Base Command in Izmir's Çiğli district, the only center that trains pilots for the Turkish air force, is the place where the "Young Eagles" work to achieve their dreams.
A Turkish air force Northrop T-38M Talon trainer in flight, Izmir, Turkey, July 25, 2022. (AA Photo)
A formation of three jets by pilot candidates.
Pilot candidates who have successfully completed the Initial Flight Training and Basic Flight Training at the command takes their training to the next level as a jet pilot or a transport pilot, depending on their preferences and the needs of the Turkish air force.
After the basic training at the 121st Fleet Command, the pilot candidates, who encounter the supersonic jet aircraft for the first time, start a stressful process that lasts for 6 months. Students, who need to be successful in all processes of academic ground training, simulator and flight training, are trained to be able to work in all conditions.
A traditional soaking ceremony is held in front of the fleet command for candidates who have completed the initial and basic training that lasts for about 2 years.
At the ceremony attended by the base commander, the water taken from a tanker is sprayed with a hose on the pilots who start doing push-ups at the order of the commander. After the commander says "Good luck," the pilots receive the hose and celebrate their brevets by wetting their commanders and each other.
“As one of the rare countries that can train their own fighter pilots, our pilots who graduated from here wear their badges and join the Prior Fleet Command stationed in Balıkesir with the title of fighter pilot in order to receive F-16 training. As the 121st Fleet Command, we not only train our own students, but we also train students from friendly and brotherly countries," said the colonel.
“As of today, we have worn our badges. Challenging, painful, enjoyable... It's an honor to be together. We have come to the end of the road, but this is actually the beginning for us. Being a pilot is truly indescribable. One's chest rises, it is indescribable. After the Air Force Academy, Çiğli... 'Finishing Çiğli,' being able to make this sentence is actually a great success,” she said.
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