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Romeos Vs. Sierras

illinijoe05

Nachos
pilot
I am speaking only to HX-21 not to the VX squadrons. The selection rate is lower in the other DT squadrons. But when you look at guys who got an EP out of their sea tour this past board TPS grads had the highest selection rate (over 90%). Bupers sometimes groups OP test in with Developmental test when they put their numbers out.
My sources are the slides NAVAIR showed to us and info from HX 21 front office while I was there.
 

xmid

Registered User
pilot
Contributor
Slap in the face or not, how much training experience do you have against a no shit IADS? What about your experienced instructors? Have the experienced dudes in your unit gone against the best western threat operators on the planet and lived?

Your average dude in a 60G squadron probably has about the same level of training as a 60S dude, but the difference is in the high level training. SWTI vs Weapons School is orders of magnitude different. It's a matter of training philosophy; quality vs quantity.
Dude... I agree with you. But for a guy training to do a mission and then told he's not worthy it is a slap in the face. My point is more along the lines of why are we training to it if we aren't going to do it. Why is the Navy not giving us the funds and training requirements to ensure we are proficient in the things that on paper we can do. I asked why we couldn't use the Air Force as a reference and train with them to be proficient in the mission and I was laughed at. Kind of like why isn't our weapons schools filled with HSC-84/85 guys and 160th exchange guys... Our guys in Fallon, most of whom don't have green hours in their log books let alone kick in the doors experience, know the answers. I call bullshit. The Navy needs a restructuring as far as who's leading the training and when/where we do the training to actually be able to do the missions that on paper we can do.

If big Navy sees us as the duty van to move ass and trash then they need to say and embrace that. There are plenty that would embrace that. Going half assed on quals that they think we could do and then telling us we are not worthy is doing nothing and we are furthering our incompetence in those areas because the pilots know they will never be called on to do the mission.
 

busdriver

Well-Known Member
None
Sorry, I was a bit over the top asshole before. I blame the afternoon beer.

Somewhere earlier in this thread someone said that 700 hours coming out of a first tour was "ridiculously low." I'm guessing that's 125 a year for 4 years and about 200 from UPT? If that's the case, the last line squadron I was in was in that boat for the young guys. More to do with manning issues in the more experienced positions than available flight hours, but I digress. I don't know how you guys structure sortie from brief to debrief, but I know there's a lot of room to improve on the AF 60 side. There really is no fix for not having enough flight hours, but in retrospect we wasted a lot of flight time.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
Dude... I agree with you. But for a guy training to do a mission and then told he's not worthy it is a slap in the face. My point is more along the lines of why are we training to it if we aren't going to do it. Why is the Navy not giving us the funds and training requirements to ensure we are proficient in the things that on paper we can do. I asked why we couldn't use the Air Force as a reference and train with them to be proficient in the mission and I was laughed at. Kind of like why isn't our weapons schools filled with HSC-84/85 guys and 160th exchange guys... Our guys in Fallon, most of whom don't have green hours in their log books let alone kick in the doors experience, know the answers. I call bullshit. The Navy needs a restructuring as far as who's leading the training and when/where we do the training to actually be able to do the missions that on paper we can do.
This post goes a long way towards illustrating a point I've been unsure if I wanted to make: the "growing pains" of the HSC world have resulted in a lot of angst amongst HSC wardrooms. It's hard for JOs to feel like their training is important when it's been demonstrated multiple times that despite all the training that squadrons have sweated through, when it comes time to do it in the real world the COCOMs are going to use other assets. part of that is what @Top Dog mentioned and goes in to some of the comments in the 3xMH-60S SAR DET thread: the aircraft and crews are on the hook for other missions. Even if the SAR DET on BAT had fully trained PR crews they still only had two MH-60S, both of which were already fragged for Gator SAR. Is that the mission that the det spent months training for like they did PR? No, but it was still a required mission so that the MEU could keep flying. Yet, despite filling an important supporting role, for some reason the community feels like a failure because they didn't get to use their sexy training.

There seems to be a undercurrent of "why bother with all this training" that permeates HSC. Just about every other community can rest assured that if the balloon goes up that they'll get to use their training. If there's a future conflict that involves a sub threat, HSM can rest assured that they will be involved in the ASW effort. Same for SUW. All the other communities can also rest assured that when someone needs a strike from a ship that VFA and VAQ will be heavily involved and that their training will be put to use. In a future conflict HSC can not be certain that all of their efforts within the PR/SOF mission sets can be used. More than likely the COCOMs will call for the Pros from Dover. This isn't meant to say that the Navy sucks or that the training sucks, it's just that there are other assets out there who are better trained who can be used so that HSC can fill it's supporting role. IMO, there are two missions beyond SAR and LOG that HSC may actually use: SUW and, in the future, MIW, especially as the number of LCSs in the fleet grows and HSC(exp) is tapped to man those dets.

If big Navy sees us as the duty van to move ass and trash then they need to say and embrace that. There are plenty that would embrace that. Going half assed on quals that they think we could do and then telling us we are not worthy is doing nothing and we are furthering our incompetence in those areas because the pilots know they will never be called on to do the mission.
every time I've seen a guy with a knife in his teeth ask leadership about getting in to the fight overland, leadership always insists that helos that say "navy" on the side of them are needed for Navy missions, which I interpret to mean "not overland." Bottom line is that if you want to fly overland, shoot tanks, and put guys in the zone than you should go fly helos for another service.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
None
Contributor
NSW support = 160th
PR/TRAP = AFSOC or embarked MEU

What missions is it that somebody needs to do?
I alluded to this in a different post, but 84 provided about 55% of all SOF rotary wing lift last year in CENTCOM, 85 provided about 99% SOF rotary wing lift in PACOM. So, I'd say that they were in the thick of it.

The perception I think I'm getting from you is that the 160th does all the work overseas while 84/85 just sit around all day.

It's a moot point now, but let's at least argue with facts.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
None
Contributor
They had PR qualified 60S guys. The Air Force flew out 60G's (in less than 30 days) to perform the mission if needed (from ships). Which I take as a slap to the face as a 60S guy.
If I'm not mistaken, it was PR qualed 60S guys from an amphib, and they couldn't man up two fully qualed PR crews for a section. So, there wasn't exactly a full CSARTF on hand, hence why they called in the Marines to go get them.

A CVW was close and prepped for CSAR, I was on that carrier as we sat in the Red Sea waiting to get approval to sail through the Suez. Unfortunately, we never did.
 

SynixMan

Staff Life
pilot
Contributor
@Pags I think we're mostly in agreement, although from different perspectives. It's frustrating to see the mashup of three communities (HC, HS, HCS) with long histories, traditions, and culture has created one community with none of those things. Pretty much all we can agree on is a) SAR is good and b) don't let the SWOs kill you.

The Sierra isn't the -46 just as much as it isn't the Hotel, yet leadership wants to keep doing business as usual, or at least the usual they knew as JOs in whatever culture they were raised in. In there long term, until we get a consensus on what are and are not, we cannot move forward. In the short term, we have whole generations of JOs going apathetic to leadership pulling in different directions, all at the same time that flight hours, material support, and manpower are drying up. That apathy is a fucking cancer, and it makes us look like assholes who bitch about having to care and then roll a bird in the dirt.

That is also to say that we have a lot of work to do in shaping our future, all while we also keep the status quo going. 3 bird Amphib DETs, M197/UGR/APKWS, and *sigh* OAMCM are part of that. So are the things we've been training on and doing. To me at least, we can pay for it in sweat now or blood later.

@busdriver I don't think you're super off base in what you said. We're not playing the deep strike stuff ala Eagle Claw. That's AFSOC's bailiwick. We are working the guy who went in day 1 off new country X, when the Navy is the only game in town. And if that need spun up, it's going to be our senior guys out there doing it, not the nuggets. We have qual progressions, but a lot of people mistake qual level for skill level. That's the same as saying you're ready to do the air show demo after your flight school safe for solo check.

With all the being said, I'm going to go chase my tail some more.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
Sadly, I think the Navy is going to lose some helos and crews trying to figure the above out before they realize that HSC is spread way too thin.
Love it or hate it, but the future of HSC(exp) is with LCS AVDETs and the SUW and MIW warfare areas.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
1991, Scott Speicher, the package was spooled up until the misinformed announcement by the WH that he was dead.

I've known a few squadrons stand Alert since then, but we haven't exactly lost a jet off the CVN over bad guy country very often, I consider that a good thing.
Spooled up but still didn't happen, and a long way to go for organic as well since the USAF guys in Saudi were a lot closer. IIRC after just finishing this book the last actual Navy CSAR off a boat was Grenada in 1983, an SH-3 did a rescue of some UH-60 guys who hiked to the coast after their birds had been shot down.

And in hindsight the KIA announcement was apparently accurate though without basis.
 
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jtmedli

Well-Known Member
pilot
HSC has problems, major problems, that need to be addressed. It has a desperate need for an 'identity' as discussed in the earlier posts. Half of the community thinks that we're some kind of half-assed extension of the 160th and the other half couldn't give less of a shit about tactics and only cares about VERTREP and SAR and PMC (understandably so). We have weapons schools filled with guys who've never logged anything even resembling 'green time' or even an actual mission involving any of our "3 primary mission areas". Yet these are the guys who are TEACHING said material to other people. We have a serious lack of leadership who, correspondingly, have a serious lack of vision for the community and a lot of good people are getting out of the Navy and/or getting left out in the lurch, so to speak, because of how the community is mis-managed. So this stuff = a lot of pain and cynicism for/from the JOs.

That said, I love flying the Sierra. It's light(er), we have two doors and an EWS system which allows us to do things the Romeos can't do. A Sierra with no wings and good engines is a blast to fly. I'm not the least bit interested in doing ASW but I hear it's fun from the HS guys we still have around. Given the chance, I believe the community could be very effective at our mission sets and learn A LOT of VERY important lessons but 'Big Navy' isn't real interested in doing that right now.

You can PM me if you want more info about who/where I am and my experiences so far in HSC.
 

busdriver

Well-Known Member
None
@SynixMan I just felt like I came off the top rope with a douchy people's elbow of self righteousness after re-reading my post. You're totally right about the need for some type of maritime asset to be ready to handle the alert initially in an emergent type situation. Whether that's the Navy or Marines I haven't the knowledge to touch the topic. Enough about CSAR.....

I think the historical bit that should piss off Navy helo guys is the tanker war of the 80's. Mainly that somehow the need arose for Army helos to base off floating things.

Do you guys have a document that your combatant commanders list what missions they want you guys to be good at in priority order? Yes, that's a serious question, I have no fucking clue how the Navy works.

Also, what do you guys do when you're stuck doing the starboard D thing? Serious question, how much latitude do you have to wander around/ accomplish other training?
 
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