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Romeos Vs. Sierras

Sailor_Dave_99

New Member
Another SNA here about to wing (hopefully). I would like an updated debate on this. I've also narrowed it down a bit as well. My current ever changing preference sheet is Sierras SD, Hawaii, Romeos SD, Japan, Norfolk, JAX, Guam, SH-60s, and last but not least 53s, in that order... As you can see I'm favoring a mix of location and Sierras (Primarily affected by my OnWing and past living). Not much of an East Coast guy either but I'm up for someone to change my mind.

I'm most curios about VERTREP and ASW arguments for or against, future mission capability, hours (interested in TPS and under the impression hours matter, would like estimates for each community), and Expeditionary Romeos (Small boys?) vs Sierras (Amphibs?).

I know the truth that I shouldn't worry about it and I'll love it anywhere. I know needs of the navy overcome your preferences. I know show up/work hard/play hard and it'll all work out. I know I should probably just go to Sammys and for get posting this. Someone humor me.

Alright back to the books, thanks gentlemen!
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
I'm a former Sierra guy and as much as I'd like to say "go sierras," I'm inclined to say that the HSM/60R community offers an airframe and community with a better defined mission. HSM in General seems to have a good idea of what their role is in life. HSC has been going through a 10yr identity crisis as to what roles it should fulfill.

Finally, DO NOT pick HSC because you want to VERTREP. while the mission is fun flying, you'll end up disappointed as to how little if it you get to do and how much time you spend worrying about tactics quals. DO NOT pick HSC because you want to be super tactical and rope dudes into a zone, you'll be disappointed with how much training you do for tactical missions that the Navy will never use you for.

Also, hold your TPS card close; not everyone thinks it's a worthwhile endeavor.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
Married or single? If the former, ask the wife. If the latter, you have the rest of your life to live in the US - take a chance on living overseas now.

And if you want to vertrep, get type rated in a Puma!
 

Sailor_Dave_99

New Member
Thanks Pags.
I've heard the tactical argument, training missions sounds interesting as well though.
I was just looking for that debate on having to do VERTREP vs ASW all the time, wasn't saying that's why I like Sierras more.
As far as TPS goes, I've heard mixed feeling on this. I've heard get it out there now and what you've said. I've heard "hold your cards close" about everything too. I know TPS isn't on "The Path" but it sounds like an interesting path.

Girlfriend and Japan is going up the list every day...
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
I'll second living overseas. I loved the experiences I garnered living overseas. Plus, FDNF flies a lot.

TPS is a tricky one. If you have a front office with test experience or that is friendly to the option then openly pursue tps. Some front offices are less than enthusiastic about test though and might not be inclined to support your goals.

In both communities you'll spend a lot if time flying training missions. By this I mean you'll be flying syllabus flights that are very akin to flight school. My general impression is that you'd be more likely to use the training in HSM than in HSC. navy leadership has said on many occasions that Sierras aren't going to go over the beach because they're needed for Navy missions (read STBD D, Log/PMC, etc). Romeos are pretty much the only ASW platform in the CSG.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I'm a former Sierra guy and as much as I'd like to say "go sierras," I'm inclined to say that the HSM/60R community offers an airframe and community with a better defined mission. HSM in General seems to have a good idea of what their role is in life. HSC has been going through a 10yr identity crisis as to what roles it should fulfill.
An astute observation. At this point in my career, doing LOG missions doesn't sound all that bad, but that's after having done two tours on the HSL side, and having flown with HSM for one+ tours. HSC is definitely needed, as there are only so many airframes to go around, but looking short-to-mid-term, HSM has the defined mission right now while, as Pags said, HSC is still finding their way.

I was just looking for that debate on having to do VERTREP vs ASW all the time, wasn't saying that's why I like Sierras more.
I wouldn't look at it that way. HSM =/= ASW all the time, just like HSC =/= VERTREP all the time. ASW is an important part of the mission set, but so is ASUW...just like VERTREP/Starboard D is an important mission, but HSC also does ASUW. I don't know that I have an answer for you, either way. Personally, when I winged I had two priorities: living in Hawaii, and trying not to be on a carrier. I was 2 for 2 and it worked out, so if location is what you're after, I'd just go in that direction and enjoy what comes your way.
 

croakerfish

Well-Known Member
pilot
I'm HSC, getting ready to go on my first deployment in a couple months. I'll try to give you the good, bad and ugly as I've seen it in the last 6 months. Take that for what little it's worth obviously.

I'm going on a 2-bird det to a USNS ship, so it'll be a VERTREP det, with little or no tactics stuff as I understand it. We have another 3-bird det on a Gator that is currently limited to the D and PMC runs, despite plans to integrate with the MEU airwing for CSAR/TRAP. At homeguard, we do a very aggressive amount of SWTP syllabus training compared to squadrons in say, San Diego, and we have more flight hours overall by a fair margin. A lot of expeditionary HSC JOs have been leaving their tour with ridiculously low hours, in the realm of 700 total. We don't have that problem. I have a lot of friends at HSC-12 in Japan, and they too are ahead of the Seawall CVN squadrons in hours and tactical quals. So, for HSC at least, FDNF (Japan for CVN, Guam for Exp) will put you in a good position to fly and deploy compared to other places.

To be honest, (and I'm looking over my shoulder as I type this), it looks to me like our tactical syllabuses are pretty weak. You do two CAS events to get your level III, and now you're supposedly good enough to do it in real life? If I were on the ground, that would not give me a warm and fuzzy. SOF and PR training is fun, even if occasional training is all you'll likely do. Here in Guam we do SAR on a regular basis, which is awesome. No one else in the Navy gets to do that, except maybe some station SAR units. We have a giant board covered in little plaques for rescues going back 30 years. It's a rare chance to do something real...

We just got a little peek at the current vision for HSC (subject to change...). Apparently people are upset with HSC for a recent spate of overland training mishaps, which occurred while landing in night brownout conditions, with crews who were generally pretty rusty. So, the reaction from higher echelons is not to ensure we get more training, but to "limit exposure" to the overland tactical environment. Basically, Big Navy doesn't consider it worthwhile for HSC to be good at this stuff, despite the fact that we just killed HSC-84 and 85 and somebody needs to do those missions. So fewer people in each squadron will obtain these tactical quals, and everyone else will focus on overwater missions, like HVBSS and blowing jet-skis out of the water.

So this all ties in to the identity crisis Pags was talking about. HSC wants to be more important in "the kill chain" but can't figure out how. We tried to be super-tactical at our three mission areas (SOF, PR, ASUW), but next we're going to try and be more Romeo-like since HSM has had some success at integrating into the Carrier Airwing and getting a bigger piece of the pie. Who knows what the next plan will be. Not me...

All that cynical-sounding stuff aside, I really like my squadron and enjoy the flying and training we do. It's a blast to have Marines fastrope out of your helo, and to K-duck a CRRC into the water. TERFing through the jungle and landing in CALs is really great. It would be a damn shame if we did less of it. If I were selecting all over again, I wouldn't change anything. If I were in HSM, all the above complaints would be business as usual. No VERTREP, no SOF training, just overwater ASW/ASUW stuff all day erryday.

One unrelated piece of advice: your selection sheet is all over the map. It's going to be really hard to determine what exactly your preferences are. You should have a very clear preference for platform or location. If you are all over the place, you're going to be harder to place than someone with a clear pattern, and are liable to get stuck with whatever.
 

squorch2

he will die without safety brief
pilot
Basically, Big Navy doesn't consider it worthwhile for HSC to be good at this stuff, despite the fact that we just killed HSC-84 and 85 and somebody needs to do those missions.
NSW support = 160th
PR/TRAP = AFSOC or embarked MEU

What missions is it that somebody needs to do?

next we're going to try and be more Romeo-like since HSM has had some success at integrating into the Carrier Airwing and getting a bigger piece of the pie.
Until Sierras start carrying the sensor and comms suites that Rs have, they won't have much worth to the CVW.
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
If you want to go to Japan anyway... FDNF is the Mecca of ASW in the Navy, and the Romeo is great at it. I've found the vast majority of HSL/M guys to be very sharp when it comes to ASW.
 

SynixMan

Staff Life
pilot
Contributor
Lot of angst in here fellas, eh?

*B B*

I started to write a long ass post about community direction and whatnot, but then I kneecapped it. I love being an HSC JO. I (shocker) like the things we train to do, but I have few illusions about getting the call to do them. Flying wise, as a dude who's wiggled the sticks in both, I'd say the -S is more fun to fly. You'll (by my informal JO poll) fly about the same regardless of platform, figure 850 TT by the end of your JO tour. The math of more pilots for same/less deployments works against everyone. FDNF might fly more, just depends.

What does that mean to you, a nugget trying to pick? Not much. The truth in what we do lies somewhere in-between all the awesome stuff you might do and the boring things you have to do. Pick where you want to live to start. You'll love or hate your community independent of whatever you put down on a preference sheet.
 

IKE

Nerd Whirler
pilot
NSW support = 160th
PR/TRAP = AFSOC or embarked MEU
I'll let an 84/85 guy comment on NSW, but as to PR, the missing word is "organic." The carrier is supposed to be able to get somewhere as fast as the nukes can push her and get planes (with bombs) over targets. I'm spitballing here, but I think it takes ~30 days for the AF to move a 60G squadron close enough to cover PR. I've been told by an AF pilot that they expect us to PR our own guys for the first xx weeks.

Maybe expeditionary HSC doesn't need to practice PR, but the commodores and higher ranks want HSC pilots to be interchangeable (Exp/CVW).

For the OP
I made my TPS intentions clear early, and it was listed in the "next job" block of all but my first LTjg FITREP during my 1st sea tour. I have to think this had some positive effect on my package. I left Japan in 2012 with 1050 total hours, which was average at the time (for Japan). The 1000 hours requirement is waiverable. I think quals, #1/2 EP, and package writeup will trump a small hours deficit.

I also highly recommend overseas, especially 1st tour when you're young and childless. If you want to go back later, you can; if not, you've already got a check in the box (needs-of-the-navy notwithstanding).
 

squorch2

he will die without safety brief
pilot
I'll let an 84/85 guy comment on NSW, but as to PR, the missing word is "organic." The carrier is supposed to be able to get somewhere as fast as the nukes can push her and get planes (with bombs) over targets.
When's the last time actual organic CSAR happened?
 

IKE

Nerd Whirler
pilot
When's the last time actual organic CSAR happened?
When's the last time an airborne torpedo was fired in anger?
What's your point? That we shouldn't practice something just because it hasn't been needed yet?

I guess we can decommission all those nukes in silos, and I should stop wearing my seatbelt since I've never crashed my car. Maybe I'll stop vaccinating my kids too... oops.
 
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