Discussion in 'Military Aviation in General' started by revan1013, Dec 30, 2011.
Recommend Reno - more $5 tables...
Actually I went to my first VP Reunion in 1984 and my last in 1997. During all those years, it was in D.C. and we wore whatever uniform they were wearing in D.C. at the time. The VP reunion back then never tried to be Tail Hook. We had professional symposiums, a luncheon, a golf tournament and a coat & tie reception. It was where we actually got the word on what was happening in the community. There were usually more VP guys on non-VP tours in attendance than there were squadron guys - but there were a lot of squadron guys. With 24 VP squadrons and 2 RAGs, it was a big and much needed event. But it was always a great time and we did find ways to drink heavily.....
VP International (VPI) was the big patrol aviation association then. It was either started by the Brits or the Canadians but its membership was anyone from any country that flew any type of Maritime Patrol aircraft and U.S. VP was a major membership. It still exists but with the end of the cold war and the demise of the Brits Nimrods & Norwegian P-3s; shrinking Canadian, Austrialian, New Zealand and other European patrol aircraft communities - it has kind of died out and is barely holding on as a mostly Canadian thing. They used to have yearly ASW competitions and parties that all the countries attended as well as quarterly parties in Canada or Kinloss open to anyone who could swing the cross country flight.
I obviously don't know what either the VP Reunion or VPI have been like since.
Only on AW can a thread morph from debates about why CAG will never stand for "Chopper Air Group" to what uniform is worn at a VP reunion.
And your point is?????
I can't speak to how other reunions were, especially since this year had all the CONA stuff factored in, but pretty much like you were describing. Briefs (some good, some stupid), golf tourney, flight suit social, etc. The social was pretty fun and I definitely like my P-3 beer glasses. I still would like to know which VP-26 and VP-30 dudes shared the cab I took off base. But the way at least it was presented to us is that this new association is supposed to be VP Tailhook. It ain't going to be that if we have ASW rodeos in the Jax sims as part of the "festivities."
This is just back of the napkin math, but...
Assuming there are anywhere from 10-13 CVW FITREP cycles a year for CO's in the airwings:
Even if you assume that #1 tickets for CO's are evenly distributed among the 4 VFA, 1 E-2, 1 Prowler/Growler, and 2 Helo CO's, there are still more than twice as many true "Strike" guys with #1 tickets compared to helo guys in the pool for the Major Command Screen Board, plus the occasional break out E-2 guy. Considering they only need 2-4 CAG selects a year, it is easy for them to hit that mark with VFA guys only, let alone the E/A and E-2 types.
Factor in that I seriously doubt that #1 tickets are evenly distributed, and the large amounts of anecdotal evidence such as above that the leadership in Naval Aviation isn't that interested in it anyways, and it is easy to see how a helo CAG would not happen.
This probably belongs in the stupid questions about naval aviation thread, but I'm gathering from these posts that dissimilar platform COs are ranked against each other in the CVW? Being a VP type, I know our skippers get rated against each other in each CPRW. I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the helo bubbas have type wings owning their squadrons on each coast. Do y'all not do the whole type wing concept? Why wouldn't hornet skippers only get ranked against other hornet skippers, E-2 skippers against other E-2 skippers, etc.?
You are aware the HS squadrons are part of the CVW and HSL has traditionally not been part of the CVW, right?
HS skippers get FitReps from CAG. HSL & HC got FitReps got FitReps from their Commodore
Today CVW squadrons HS/HSC/HSM) get FitReps from CAG and the Expeditionary squadrons get FitReps from the Type Wing Commodore.
This is all very simple. How many VFA CO's are have airwing strike lead quals? Most, if not all. How many VAQ guys, eh, maybe 50%. How many helo guys?
As a CAG staffer we rewrote several of our instructions prior to a workup period and took a long look at the SLUI instruction. We used to have an ICAP III VAQ squadron, but now had an ICAP II squadron - we were not going to make an SL's from that squadron (had the squadron still been ICAP III they would have been eligible). We had an HSC and an HSM squadron - not even the two community reps on the staff could advocate for making them overall SLs.
This assumes you're talking about a fixed-wing strike package. No one is saying CAG is going to lead a rotary wing strike or PR effort.
First, the implication wasn't that CAG leads all the strikes, but you would certainly want to make a CAG from someone who had a strikelead qual.
Second, the RMC is not usually a helo...
Sims? We did them in the plane on real subs.
We can't afford to fly, and the russians can't afford to play.
Well the Russians didn't play for the VPI ASW competitions. It was the U.S., U.K., Austrilian, French, German, Candian, etc. subs. They would be tasked specifically for the event. We got their crews drunk too afterward.
How was Il-38 Orionsky as a platform?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
We have all seen all manner of aviators. From the amazing to the "how is it you are still allowed to fly, or promoted, or haven't killed yourself (or someome else) yet?" They come from all platforms too. Without a doubt there are some helo guys that would make better CAGs than VFA guys. Same goes for the other platforms too. Recovering LSO has made excellent points though. The number one job of the air wing is to launch from the carrier and destroy stuff. CAG needs to be intimately familiar with his capabilities.
Who does most of the destroying? Therefore who does most of the planning? Therefore who understands strike warfare from the carrier the best? Is this black and white? Definitely not. But your average senior VFA guy is going to know a lot more about strike warfare than the average guy from other communities. There are so many aspects to consider from threats, route, strike composition, weapon selection, SEAD support, tanker support, command and control, etc. No, the strike lead isn't an expert on all of those things, but he is generally trained to a higher level among all the aspects than other members of the air wing. I'm not as current as I used to be but I believe NSAWC doesn't even allow non-VFA guys to partake in the SLUI course due to it having been pretty much a waste of time.
In order, this is how I would rank the average level of integrated strike warfare understanding: F/A-18 aircrew, E-2 NFO, EA-6B ECMO or E/A-18G aircrew, EA6-B pilot (yes, behind the ECMO or G crew), E-2 pilot, H-60 pilot. There are standard exceptions to this: a PTI pilot is right up there with the ECMO or G crew, CAEWS trained pilot is right up there with the E-2 NFO.
Heck, depending on the individuals I might very well take a RWWS instructor over a VFA guy who went through one air wing as a wingman and then did an FRS tour, didn't get his strike lead as a DH, went to some staff job and came back as an XO. This is the grey areas. Keep in mind that the cream does not always rise to the top and the single anchor VFA guys run most of the show so things tend to flow along their lines. Having said that I have seen all but an H-60 CAG.
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