Agreed about the vicious cycle of poor intel Os leading to death by collaterals. The mentoring thing is complicated I think, because it depends on your geographic location. If you are in Japan, Lemoore or Hampton Roads areas, you are near your CAG AI and can work with them (assuming that you aren't in a squadron on a different coast from the rest of your airwing, and that your CAG AI is good). If you aren't in those two areas, or you are somewhere that doesn't report to a regular airwing, it is really tough. I understand that there are some exceptions to this though. We also don't have chiefs around. Then there are the squadrons that don't really need an intel O and still get one, which is a bad deal. I can't help but imagine that someone who spends two years at ONI or a JIC is learning a whole lot about intel that will make them better to support a squadron. I think that what squadrons want (tactical and mission planning stuff) is very different from what the rest of Navy intel wants (Opintel), which is what you get outside of squadrons. Fortunately there are other things improving training wise that are helping AIs do their job better. I do think that a more experienced AI will be better and more experienced officers and won't have the whole Ensign stink on them, which would certainly help (although a new guy is a new guy). What I don't want to see happen is AIs/ISs pulled away into a FID construct like they did with the ship's company intel folks. If it were up to me the training would get better, or we'd work as a department at the CVW level broken into smaller divisions with our ISes, specializing in different areas/missions.