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NFO Questions

Hello all,

New poster and NFO hopeful. I will be going to Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Marine Transportation Major) and participating in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program. I would prefer to be in a Super Hornet or a Growler, but I am definitely fine going VP or VAW. I know needs of the service trumps preference and that slots vary class to class. I tried doing some research and I never really got passed the basic duties of an NFO (Weapons/Sensors Operator, Navigator, Eventually TACCOM or Mission Commander). My question is during normal flight/cruising what does an NFO in the Growler/Hornet do? Navigate? Function as a Co-Pilot? Also, who usually talks on the radios? I am working on my PPL and I really enjoy talking to ATC for some reason. Also, I heard that you are almost guaranteed to get NFO if you qualify and you put it first on your selection sheet, and if you put Pilot #1, you have to compete for it. Does the Navy have a difficult time filling NFO slots? Is that bad gouge or accurate?

Thanks for your help everyone.
 

Gator Guard

always knife hands
Also, I heard that you are almost guaranteed to get NFO if you qualify and you put it first on your selection sheet, and if you put Pilot #1, you have to compete for it. Does the Navy have a difficult time filling NFO slots? Is that bad gouge or accurate?

Thanks for your help everyone.
"Guaranteed", ha. Bad gouge.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Hello all,

New poster and NFO hopeful. I will be going to Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Marine Transportation Major) and participating in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program. I would prefer to be in a Super Hornet or a Growler, but I am definitely fine going VP or VAW. I know needs of the service trumps preference and that slots vary class to class. I tried doing some research and I never really got passed the basic duties of an NFO (Weapons/Sensors Operator, Navigator, Eventually TACCOM or Mission Commander). My question is during normal flight/cruising what does an NFO in the Growler/Hornet do? Navigate? Function as a Co-Pilot? Also, who usually talks on the radios? I am working on my PPL and I really enjoy talking to ATC for some reason. Also, I heard that you are almost guaranteed to get NFO if you qualify and you put it first on your selection sheet, and if you put Pilot #1, you have to compete for it. Does the Navy have a difficult time filling NFO slots? Is that bad gouge or accurate?

Thanks for your help everyone.
Browse the community-specific threads under NFO, you'll see a lot about how the various FRSes work, and crew duties.

Short answer is, generally speaking, the pilot and FO(s) divvy up the flying and tactical duties between them, though since the S-3 went away, the FO doesn't have flight controls. How they're divided depends on crew contracts and what switches each has in their respective cockpits/stations.

The big exception to this is the E-2, where the pilots don't do any control and the FOs don't do any flying stuff. That may change a bit with the E-2D, where the pilots can bring up a mission display in the front, but that's how it's historically done.
 
I was also told there is supposed to be an increase in slots for the Aviation community over the next five years. Is NFO included in that as well? Is this bad gouge or accurate? Also, with the F-35 coming into the fleet in a few years, will this diminish the number of NFO's needed, specifically in the TacAir community? Is the 18F going to be around for awhile after the F-35 is introduced?
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
The F and G models are brand new airplanes. They'll be around longer than most of us here will be.
 

Whitefoot

Well-Known Member
None
"Guaranteed", ha. Bad gouge.
The LCDR who gave us our in-brief here in Pensacola last Monday said the Navy is short on NFOs. He also went so far as saying that the chances for people switching from NFO to Pilot are slim to none unless you were DQd for pilot and it was something that the Navy did wrong. Even then he said that because they are still hard up for NFOs even that doesn't guarantee you a pilot spot. Another note is that they are "pushing" the NFO folks through IFS and classing them up for API quicker due to the reason that they are short on NFOs. By the way he also said that it has been that way for a long long time.

Also agree with Gator Guard on the Guaranteed quote. Remember, two things are always guaranteed: Death and Taxes.
 
When you say pushing through IFS and API, is it just a rushed syllabus (Less hours for IFS and shorter API) or is there less of a holding period between commissioning and IFS?
 
Do NFOs earn a private pilot's license at IFS? I know you take FAA exams, but does that culminate with a license? I'm trying to figure out if I want to drop money on it to keep busy before OCS later this year.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
No, and save your cash. Unless you intend on doing a lot of civilian flying on your own - which, frankly, you won't have a lot of time for during your training, it's not going to help you in terms of your success in the pipeline.
 
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