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Winging next month. Any suggestions on what to select?

jt71582

DCMA FCF Junkie
pilot
Contributor
Don't let the HT guys dissuade you from HSM. It's not bad at all. The Romeo is extremely capable, and I've enjoyed my time in the FRS.
 

Renegade One

Well-Known Member
None
Pick a mission not an airframe.
Yup yup yup...

As someone close to wings, I'll say this thread has been very, very helpful. However, I know I'm going to sound like a moron here, but what's SSC?

The other question I have that's been touched on lightly here is about carrier life as a helo pilot.
SSC: Earlier, in my JO days, this was called "Triple-S-C"...which I think stood for "Surface, Sub-Surface Coordination". I could be wrong...now it probably stands for "Surface Search coordination" or something like that. Basically, it's a visual/sensor search of all the maritime airspace accessible with organic aircraft...tracking and reporting on civilian traffic, tankers, freighters, foreign naval units, fishing fleets, yadda yadda yadda. Not many medals associated with the mission, but good flight time and an important mission to your embarked chain of command.

Some far better qualified guys on this forum who can give you "first-hand, current experience" with the second part, but here's my $.02 from the peanut gallery: Carrier Air Wing squadron life pretty much rocks. You're a big and valued part of a huge team that "..lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team" (thanks to George Patton for that...). CV and CAG life is, IMHO, better than "small boy life"....but you need to listen to others.

Bottom line: It's ALL good, brah!
 

PhrogLoop

Adulting is hard
pilot
the HSC instructors in my squadron can't stop raving about VERTREP, the missions around Guam sound like a blast, etc. etc. ..
I have been guilty in the past of reinforcing the stereotype of the old-school HC Bubba going on and on about our community and how great it is...and I'll do it again. Just about everybody else in the Navy has us beat on command screen rates (comparing guys that ultimately screen vs. the JOs that started out as nuggets), tip of the spear bragging rights, yadda yadda. But you have to believe there's something there when alumni of HSC squadrons routinely "rave" about where we came from to the extent that it's annoying. I think it's a lot like San Diego. When I was at the Academy, I hated hearing nonstop from my San Diego native classmates about the laid back attitude, perfect weather, and hot chicks. And then I got here and saw what all the fuss was about. I can't promise perfect weather and hot chicks in every HSC squadron and some are more laid back than others (I won't get into CVN vs EXP), but you will rave.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
As someone close to wings, I'll say this thread has been very, very helpful. However, I know I'm going to sound like a moron here, but what's SSC?

The other question I have that's been touched on lightly here is about carrier life as a helo pilot. I originally came into the HT's hoping to select HSM, partially because I had heard in the VTs that being on a carrier is a bad time as a helo guy, but I've run across (the only) one HS instructor in my squadron who actually deployed on carriers and he loved it. Can anyone shed (current) pros and cons about small boys/carrier life/amphib life?

For the most part, I think I'm leaning towards asking for HSC because the expeditionary missions sound sweet, the possibility of being in a det in Sicily or Bahrain, the HSC instructors in my squadron can't stop raving about VERTREP, the missions around Guam sound like a blast, etc. etc. As I said, I originally came in wanting HSM because I thought the maritime warfare (ASW/ASUW, small boys, the awesome avionics, etc.) component sounded sweet, but speaking with guys in the long, long, long FRS there who aren't enjoying it and the systems heavy knowledge (which, I'll admit, does intimidate me... while I've gotten by just fine, I never felt as comfortable on a systems test or brief compared to anything regarding flying) combined with the fact there are literally no HSM instructors in the HT's (just HSL guys), my opinion has at least started leaning towards HSC. The HSL instructors have, by any large suggested to select coast over platform, while the HSC instructors have 100% said to beg and plead if I have to to get HSC, suggesting to me they loved their mission while the HSL guys didn't as much.
It's been said before, and I'll say it again: pick a mission, not a coast. Coasts come and go, but once you pick your community, there's pretty much no turning back. And you'll be gone half to two thirds of the time anyway, home port is just a place to hang your hat when you're not at sea.

Both communities kind of have tow different sub-communities. There's a CVW and an expeditionary side to both HSM (née HSL) and HSC. In general, CVW will be one team, one fight with the entire squadron deploying while expeditionary will involve smaller dets. Each have their pluses and minuses.

Your stucon should have some community briefs available, I provided some info to some of the guys down there awhile back. My advice to you is to call a few of each squadron and ask to chat with a JO. Or call their weapons schools and chat with the guys for a few minutes. Sure, they're busy, but most guys would gladly have five minutes to sell their communities. Or call me, and I can put you on the phone with guys from just about all communities.
 

jt71582

DCMA FCF Junkie
pilot
Contributor
As a former stucon guy, I can say the community briefs suck ass.
This. If the community briefs haven't changed within the last year or so, the two I attended both started out ok, and then devolved into an HSC IP vs. HSL IP vs. Marine IP pissing contest. I didn't really take much from those things.

I got more out of seeking out individual instructors from different communities, and listening to what they had to say when they weren't in front of the whole wardroom.

Also, don't get your heart set on your top choice. I did pretty well in HT's and got my #7 choice. I whined like a baby until I got here, and now I'm having a great time in Jax. You'll love whatever you get, so get busy out at Seville/McGuire's/Flounders/Sammies and enjoy the end of flight school.
 

squorch2

he will die without safety brief
pilot
They usually devolve into IP/IP pissing contests, and while sometimes there's beer, more often than not there isn't and the whole thing feels rushed and forced. When they don't end up like that, they'll have jargon and terminology that your average PQM probably wouldn't understand.

That being said, cramming an entire community's mission and "feel" into a 10-ish minute presentation by an apathetic IP who just. wants. to. go. home. isn't going to give studs a good idea of what they'll want/like anyway. In the end, it's a crapshoot - there are just as many good and shitty experiences to be had in HSC as in HSM and HM.
 

helolumpy

Region staff is the 7th level of hell!
pilot
Contributor
Don't let the HT guys dissuade you from HSM. It's not bad at all. The Romeo is extremely capable, and I've enjoyed my time in the FRS.
Please tell me you are not recommending a community based on your experience as an RP.

That is so far removed from what the actual community (and life) is like, it borders on the verge of bad gouge.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the rising sun. Literally. There's no DST!
pilot
Contributor
Also, don't get your heart set on your top choice. I did pretty well in HT's and got my #7 choice. I whined like a baby until I got here, and now I'm having a great time in Jax. You'll love whatever you get, so get busy out at Seville/McGuire's/Flounders/Sammies and enjoy the end of flight school.
Yeah that's what's leading me to either put one or the other platform down 1-6 or coast like that, I suppose - a few of my friends all who did above average (NSS of 50+) all got their 4th or below choices, so my hopes for getting whatever will be my no.1 choice are pretty low.

Thanks for all the advice. I understand the idea of "pick the mission not the coast" thing - however, my perception is that more and more the missions are becoming similar (with the exception of HM) -- please correct me if I'm wrong here! It's also disheartening when I hear things from IP's or guys I know in the fleet currently saying things like "the difference in communities is deciding how big of circles you want to fly." I'll be honest - when I hear things like that - it absolutely makes me want to not have a longer FRS with intense systems knowledge if I'm never going to do what I'll be trained to do and I'm just going to be flying circles. That also makes me want to pick a coast over platform if they are both just flying circles.

As far as community briefs go - I enjoyed the one we had - it was very informative for HM and HSC and the HSL brief was mediocre. However, again, like I said, there was hardly a mention of HSM and the future that lies there - as there are no Romeo pilots in the HT's (at the time of the brief at least).

Again, thanks for all the advice.
 

Recovering LSO

Suck Less
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
But you have to believe there's something there when [people] routinely "rave" about where we came from to the extent that it's annoying..
Or they're trying to make themselves feel better about how their cookie crumbled... I've seen a lot of this from all sorts of dudes in all sorts of communities.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Thanks for all the advice. I understand the idea of "pick the mission not the coast" thing - however, my perception is that more and more the missions are becoming similar (with the exception of HM) -- please correct me if I'm wrong here! It's also disheartening when I hear things from IP's or guys I know in the fleet currently saying things like "the difference in communities is deciding how big of circles you want to fly." I'll be honest - when I hear things like that - it absolutely makes me want to not have a longer FRS with intense systems knowledge if I'm never going to do what I'll be trained to do and I'm just going to be flying circles. That also makes me want to pick a coast over platform if they are both just flying circles.
The "pick your circles" thing isn't far from the truth. It's just that some of the circles you may find more fun than others (hence the VERTREP comments all the HSC guys ramble on about). I understand what Pags is talking about regarding picking the mission, but I think it's fair to think about WHERE you want to do your circles. For me, doing circles in the Pacific seems more interesting, as there's a lot more going on there than on the Atlantic side. But that's just my preference, yours may be different.

I think you can boil it down to this:

HSM: do large circles and run sensors. Occassionally you'll do more specific stuff (like LOG, boardings, etc).
HSC: do smaller circles and do LOG (Pax/VERTREP).

Oh, and one thing about the long RAG time... Don't discount that as being all negative. Having that extra time after getting your wings may actually help you at the end of your shore tour with timing, depending on what you might be planning.
 

ChunksJR

Staff wennie, on the sundown tour
pilot
Contributor
however, my perception is that more and more the missions are becoming similar
This is not a false statement. The Navy helo mission is certainly becoming a Jack of all trades...and I think that the merging with the airwings has resulted in this perception. The carriers have or will be deploying with an airwing that has 17-19 helos. These will be the HSC(CV) and HSM(CV). This is a new concept for HSL bubbas and many of them have no idea what the hell is going to happen. The thing is, that only 9 or so of these helos will be on the carrier at any one time. So...it's impossible to explain what CAG will do with you. The HSC(CV) guys will continue to mostly do the D and occasionally other things (Medevac, channel defense, etc) and HSM(CV) will do what traditional HSL squadrons did, with tasking from the CAG OPs.

The HSC(Exp) and HSM(Exp), however, aren't similar in any way, shape, or form. They'll do more the traditional HC and HSL missions, respectively.
 
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