Break out of the frame | Updated April 12, 2006 | Get the frame back
Go back to Sheppard's page


With huge thanks to Sarah, who sent this to me in email. I haven't changed anything but the formatting a little.

This information is not canonical for John Sheppard.
It's just potential background for him, given the canonical information we do have.


First of all, Sheppard's skills as a pilot: Obviously he's very good at what he does. In the Air Force he would be classified as being qualified to fly fixed rotor aircraft. If he attended the Air Force Academy, then he would also have had a little training in fixed wing aircraft as well. However, the fact he has flown Osprey before helps in a big way. For an officer to even be considered as a pilot for such a craft (as it has only this month 03/06 has been shipped to Air Bases ) he would have to be qualified to fly some of the more difficult to handle helicopters as well as fixed wing aircraft.

And even though the Army has the largest helicopter fleet the Air Force does use them extensively. Each Squadron and Group in the AF has a specific role, and if they have any helicopters at their disposal, these helicopters are usually suited for whatever they do. Now, in the episode Home, it is implied that he flew Black Hawk helicopters. In the Air Force, that particular type of helo is modified and is refered to as a HH-60G PAVE HAWK.

More than likely he was part of the Special Operations Group , and worked closely with Pararescuers or was one himself. (These guys are the people who rescue the Navy Seals when they need help. They're probably one of the most unknown special ops groups in the military, but one of the most elite), they are part of the Special Tactics group .

Here is an AF description of the job and his required qualifications:


AFSC 11S4*, Staff

AFSC 11S3*, Aircraft Commander --> This is probably what level of Skill Sheppard was at.

AFSC 11S2*, Qualified Pilot/Copilot

AFSC 11S1*, Entry/Student


1. Specialty Summary. Pilots special operations aircraft (fixed-wing or helicopter) and commands crews to accomplish special operations, training, and other missions. Related DoD Occupational Group: 220100.


2. Duties and Responsibilities:

2.1. Plans and prepares for mission. Reviews mission tasking, intelligence, and weather information. Supervises mission planning, preparation and filing of flight plan, and crew briefing. Ensures aircraft is preflighted, inspected, loaded, equipped, and manned for mission.

2.2. Pilots aircraft and commands crew. Operates aircraft controls and equipment. Performs, supervises, or directs navigation, in-flight refueling, reconnaissance, weapons delivery, and cargo and passenger delivery.

2.3. Conducts or supervises training of crewmembers. Ensures operational readiness of crew by conducting or supervising mission specific training.

2.4. Develops plans and policies, monitors operations, and advises commanders. Assists commanders and performs staff functions related to this specialty.


3. Specialty Qualifications:

3.1. Knowledge. Knowledge is mandatory of theory of flight, air navigation, meteorology, flying directives, aircraft operating procedures, and mission tactics.

3.2. Education. For entry into this specialty, an undergraduate degree specializing in physical sciences, mathematics, administration, or management is desirable.

3.3. Training. The following training is mandatory as indicated:

3.3.1. For entry into this specialty, completion of Air Force Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT).

3.3.2. For award of AFSC 11S2X, completion of transition and operational training in the suffix specific aircraft.

3.4. Experience. For upgrade to AFSCs 11S2X/3X, unit commander determines proficiency based on performance, experience, and completion of minimum training requirements.

3.5. Other. The following are mandatory as indicated:

3.5.1. For award and retention of this AFSC, current aeronautical rating and qualification for aviation service as pilot.

3.5.2. For award of AFSC 11S3X, certification of aircraft commander qualification by appropriate operations authority.

3.5.3. Specialty requires routine access to Top Secret material or similar environment. For award and retention of AFSCs 11SXX, completion of a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) according to AFI 31-501, Personnel Security Program Management .


NOTE: Award of the entry level without a completed SSBI is authorized provided an interim SSBI has been granted according to AFI 31-501.


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