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Helo billets at every NAS?

David0619

Member
Hey guys,

I noticed that there are not helicopter squadrons based at all Naval Air Stations. Does this mean that there are no helicopter pilot billets at those stations? Or do they have one or two helicopters that are not in squadrons but support other squadrons at the NAS? I would think they would want at least a couple for SAR at all air stations but I'm no Naval Officer yet.

Thanks!
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
Contributor
Hey guys,

I noticed that there are not helicopter squadrons based at all Naval Air Stations. Does this mean that there are no helicopter pilot billets at those stations? Or do they have one or two helicopters that are not in squadrons but support other squadrons at the NAS? I would think they would want at least a couple for SAR at all air stations but I'm no Naval Officer yet.

Thanks!
A few air stations have SAR outfits, Whidbey Island, China Lake, Key West, Fallon, I think Lemoore, I may have missed one or two. However, they are for SAR and not for supporting various units at that NAS. The majority of NASs don't have helos assigned directly to the base.
 

David0619

Member
A few air stations have SAR outfits, Whidbey Island, China Lake, Key West, Fallon, I think Lemoore, I may have missed one or two. However, they are for SAR and not for supporting various units at that NAS. The majority of NASs don't have helos assigned directly to the base.
Would a pilot apply for that billet after his initial sea duty with a squadron? Sounds like it would be pretty good duty
 

HeyJoe

Fly Navy! ...or USMC
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Would a pilot apply for that billet after his initial sea duty with a squadron? Sounds like it would be pretty good duty
Not "career enhancing" as you are not in a warfare specialty, but if assigned there, make most of it. I know a few of SAR Det folks here and they are good people. Plenty of other helo jobs out there that are on a career track.
 

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Not "career enhancing" as you are not in a warfare specialty, but if assigned there, make most of it. I know a few of SAR Det folks here and they are good people. Plenty of other helo jobs out there that are on a career track.
The SAR helos at NAS Lemoore, CA, enjoy a fine reputation in the central San Joaquin Valley, for over 50 years of spectacular rescues in the nearby high elevation/altitude, rugged, Sierra Nevada mountain range. Maybe not on career track, but seems like saving those in distress would be a very satisfying assignment.:)

NAS Lemoore Tower
NASLCControl Tower.jpg
BzB
 

David0619

Member
The SAR helos at NAS Lemoore, CA, enjoy a fine reputation in the central San Joaquin Valley, for over 50 years of spectacular rescues in the nearby high altitude, rugged, Sierra Nevada mountain range. Maybe not on career track, but seems like saving those in distress would be a very satisfying assignment.:)

NAS Lemoore Tower
View attachment 13545
BzB
How would one request that kind of duty as a SAR pilot? Would it have to be after one's sea duty? I know I should be focusing on OCS this summer but also like to look at the career routes and types of duties.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
The simple answer is that you guys will know when the time is right. It doesn't make a lot of sense for you to expend any brain power (or imagination) on platform-specific, esoteric shore duty orders. You'll be able to have that conversation with your front offices and detailers when (if) it's an option for you.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I would also advise you to not bring up this interest to the front office initially during your first tour. It's possible that it can be seen as not being a "team player" on "the path" and could end up screwing you. Not that it should, but it's been known to happen.
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
If you're into SAR and helos, why not consider the Coast Guard? You'll probably never leave the US, "deployments" are less than half as long as USN, and saving lives is your primary mission.

Plenty of people like the combat oriented missions and deployments to the 'edge of the empire' that the Navy offers -- but if you're asking about SAR shore duty before you even get to OCS you might want to think a little more about what you're getting into.
 

Recovering LSO

Suck Less
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
I got to know a few of the SAR dudes at Whidbey over the years. If you end making a decision that station SAR is for you - the flying and rescues those guys do around NW WA is impressive. This is an outside looking in perspective - someone with more hands on knowledge might have a different opinion.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
...why not consider the Coast Guard? You'll probably never leave the US, "deployments" are less than half as long as USN...
Not so much. Dets may be shorter, but the CG is in all the same hot spots the Navy is.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
CG is in the Black Sea? SCS? What "hot spots" are you talking about?
HOA, Arabian Gulf, and maybe not as "hot" per se, but the Caribbean and EastPac. My point is they go to sea, just like us. And on the air side, the ships they land on are generally smaller than ours. An important fun fact for a helo guy.
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
HOA, Arabian Gulf, and maybe not as "hot" per se, but the Caribbean and EastPac. My point is they go to sea, just like us. And on the air side, the ships they land on are generally smaller than ours. An important fun fact for a helo guy.
Granted, they have a presence in C5F. Not sure I'd call the Carribbean or EASTPAC "overseas."

Let's try to be realistic... Do you think the CG deploys anywhere near the same % of a/c and cutters overseas as the Navy does a/c and ships?

You're statement "the CG is in all the same hot spots the Navy is," while loosely accurate, is misleading as it suggests CG officers will routinely deploy to the same areas we do.
 
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