AIR FORCE T-38 TRACK INTERMEDIATES
Be prepared for the brief and be on time, no excuses. Assist the Flight Lead as necessary and
brief specific items required (e.g., EP of the day).
The briefing guide contained in Appendix B is TRARON THREE Squadron Standard for T-38
FORM. If flight leads want to brief something other than standard, then it is Lead's prerogative
to do so, but Lead is responsible for making sure all members of the flight are fully briefed on
non-standard items. Appendix B is similar to briefing guides used by many USAF units. It is
usually command established and each item is addressed with all formation members present.
The day's mission objectives will be briefed so that these objectives can be referenced during the
debrief. In T-38 FORM, the lead IP will brief the flight out of the standards; as students, you
need to be familiar with the standards and write questions down to ask when the briefing is over.
Do not leave the brief and step to fly with any questions about the flow of the mission.
FORMATION ENERGY MANAGEMENT
Energy management in formation is going to be crucial for smooth flow of the planned
maneuvers. Terminating maneuvering to fix your energy state, while necessary, is not optimal.
Lead wants to in-flight plan so that all the required items are done in a sequence that will result
in a sequential flow of maneuvers and then the lead is passed to Two with good energy and
plenty of area to get his or her bearings. As mentioned so many times before, the T-38 is going
to be fuel limited so you will have to split the gas going into the area with your flightmate. If
you led out and left your buddy very little gas to work with in the area and he Unsats the ride
because you were slow, he is not going to be too happy with you; remember that paybacks are no
fun! Bring the formation into the area at or near the top of the block, Fence-in, and then set up
the G-awareness exercise; that will bleed energy down to the neutral state in the 5-10K block,
850 ft-lbs, 7500 feet, 170-180 knots. With that energy you can do anything with the formation.
At the end of your maneuvering, set up the lead change so that the new Lead will get the neutral
energy state, with the longest look at the area. For example, if you are in RoseHill MOA, drive
to 39 DME and then give an Echelon Turn back to the west so that the new Lead has all that
DME to burn before he has to make any turns for area boundaries.
Good energy planning involves using the available energy of your aircraft to perform a series
of maneuvers. Available energy is a combination of airspeed and altitude. Most maneuvers will
require trading potential energy, in the form of altitude, for airspeed. Due to the T-34Cs limited
ability to gain energy, care must be taken to preserve your energy level once attained. High `G'
loading and/or maintaining airspeed above the max level flight airspeed will deplete energy.
During T-38 FORM maneuvering, some maneuvers will require higher airspeeds and `G' loads.
The pilot must be aware of how each maneuver affects the overall energy level. For example, to
fly a Half-Cuban Eight, Lead must use stored energy by trading altitude for airspeed.
T-38 FORMATION BASICS