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USAF Enlisted Pilots, The Right Stuff, Stolen Bikes, AIC, and SWO pipe dreams.

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#16
The Army views and handles aviation much different than the other services, seeing it largely as something to support the rest of the service and not a tool that can work independently. Their pilots are just as skilled as any other in the US military but they really don't get involved in the larger air campaign and their skill set doesn't generally include it. That is reflected in the composition of their aviator corps, which is predominantly CWO's and not regular officers. That is the most basic reason CWO's won't work very well in larger Naval Aviation.
 

Fallonflyr

Well-Known Member
#17
Is there a shortage of college grads that would give their left one to fly in the military these days? It is pretty simple, Airlines hiring...dudes want to leave, been that way since the end of WWII. When the first guy gets hired by a major airline, open up the training pipeline. Every cycle the military manning idiots wait until there is an avalanche of letters being dropped before they realize they have a problem.
 

picklesuit

Shit, I'm lost again...
pilot
Contributor
#18
The Army views and handles aviation much different than the other services, seeing it largely as something to support the rest of the service and not a tool that can work independently. Their pilots are just as skilled as any other in the US military but they really don't get involved in the larger air campaign and their skill set doesn't generally include it. That is reflected in the composition of their aviator corps, which is predominantly CWO's and not regular officers. That is the most basic reason CWO's won't work very well in larger Naval Aviation.
There is a large chunk of Naval Aviation that is a support role.

I would say all of rotary, a good chunk of Maritime (because flying ISR tracks does not take a genius), C-2’s, TACAMO, and UAV’s could all be a relatively low impact switch.

The E-2 would be doable up front, leaving your tube slugs as URL...

I don’t think fiddling with the Rhino or Growler cadre would be a good idea.

I flew with multiple CWO’s in 46 and they were, for the most part, really good. The only issues I saw were the same you get from the prior-E’s that couldn’t let the past go...and we have plenty of those in the URL side of the house.

I still believe the Brits do it right, with a career/command track and a non-command track...

Pickle
 

RadicalDude

Social Justice Warlord
None
Contributor
#20
Who in naval aviation isn’t support?
Per the CVW strike concept, it’s possible for a strike package to be the “primary customer” if you buy into the doctrinal pipe dream

But yeah, realistically we all work for someone else. Be it the GFC or AW or Zulu. We’re all support.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
#21
Per the CVW strike concept, it’s possible for a strike package to be the “primary customer” if you buy into the doctrinal pipe dream

But yeah, realistically we all work for someone else. Be it the GFC or AW or Zulu. We’re all support.
Yeah you caught me before I could edit
 

CommodoreMid

Whateva! I do what I want!
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#22
MPRA is an interesting sociological study at the moment. People are fighting to go to VUP-19 for shore duty on the JO side and for DH. It's going to be number one on my slate provided I get selected for DH on this board in the spring. Predictable quality of life in a good duty location providing experience for post Navy shit is palatable for both pilots and NFOs. Granted I've seen more NFOs than pilots interested in VUP, there's still competition on the pilot side. I know a shit ton of people both pilot and NFO who are up on this next DH board who are putting VUP top on their slate.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#23
FWO was always a solution in search of a problem. While perfectly viable, the Navy doesn’t need it. Maybe you save some pay and retirement money in the long run, but that’s not CNAF’s problem. Our manning problems aren’t fixed by making winged warrants.

FWO was Admiral Starling’s pet rock, and he sold the idea back around 2004-05 by saying it’d help URL promotion in the bottom-heavy helo and MPRA communities. Fewer dudes competing for Skipper - more of those dudes make Skipper. That’s why the FWOs were limited to those communities. Nothing to do with them being ‘support’ or whatever.

MPRA is an interesting sociological study at the moment. People are fighting to go to VUP-19 for shore duty on the JO side and for DH. It's going to be number one on my slate provided I get selected for DH on this board in the spring. Predictable quality of life in a good duty location providing experience for post Navy shit is palatable for both pilots and NFOs. Granted I've seen more NFOs than pilots interested in VUP, there's still competition on the pilot side. I know a shit ton of people both pilot and NFO who are up on this next DH board who are putting VUP top on their slate.
The MPRA community O-6s I talked to about it were surprised how much interest VUP was getting; I was surprised at their surprise, for the reasons you cited. It’s good for the future of VUP if dudes are fighting to get orders there, and will help avoid the problems Air Force RPA has experienced. If you don’t make it an attractive career track from the beginning, it’s way too easy to fall into self-fulfilling prophecy mode: “Hot-runners shouldn’t go to VUP because we don’t send hot-runners to VUP”. Which is the mistake the AF made with their Pred guys.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#24
In the last couple decades, who in naval aviation hasn’t been support?
What I mean by support is that they are subordinate and not equal to the other branches like it is in the Navy, with Aviation only becoming its own branch in the Army in the 80's. Naval Aviation also has its independent command chain that largely doesn't exist in the Army.

There is a large chunk of Naval Aviation that is a support role.

I would say all of rotary, a good chunk of Maritime (because flying ISR tracks does not take a genius), C-2’s, TACAMO, and UAV’s could all be a relatively low impact switch.

I still believe the Brits do it right, with a career/command track and a non-command track...

Pickle
I think you underestimate just how much of a culture shift it would be in the Navy, upending how we have manned aviation for ~80 years. Not only that you would likely end up having a bifurcated ready room where the most experience resides in the most junior officers with the CO not being one of the most experienced aviators becoming the norm.

Not only that but you would end up with a two-tier system within Naval Aviation itself where the maritime and helo communities would be relegated to second tier status without as effective representation as they have now in leadership. The Army has been hurt by its paucity of generals from aviation branch in everything from procurement to the direction of the community as a whole.

Where even the maritime community operates under its own task forces it is important to develop an experienced corps of professional regular officers who could competently lead those commands in operations, something that would become far more difficult if we manned some communities like the Army does.
 
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Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#25
I think Flash (and Fester's manning comment) really boils it down to how FWO would have a negative impact on Naval Aviation. It's also interesting to be in a room full of Army Warrants from various flying communities. Sure, you're always going to have the strong players and the weak players, and there's no doubt the Warrants have tons of operational flying experience. But as a whole, it's interesting to watch and see how much more well-rounded individuals we are as Naval Aviators.

That's not meant as a dig, as each service has their priorities and executes accordingly. But there is definitely a difference.
 

picklesuit

Shit, I'm lost again...
pilot
Contributor
#26
The flip side off this is the paucity of ASW experience, lack of tactical acumen when it comes to actually using the aircraft to get the mission done, and return on investment on training.

As our Aviators get the the peak usefulness of their flying career we shuffle them somewhere away from where the could best be used in order to provide “career progression “ and force them to repeatedly start over from the bottom of the heap.

I’m currently suffering the effects of this policy as I struggle to keep up with the Cat I students who stepped from one cockpit to this one while I am opening Approach plates for the first time in over two years.

I got really good at admin work on the boat, but my flying brain atrophied. I haven’t flown tactically in over half a decade. I can’t even remember my half shift formula anymore.

If I don’t make XO/CO the ROI for 9 months of training is about 30 months of flying...
 

hscs

Registered User
pilot
#27
The flip side off this is the paucity of ASW experience, lack of tactical acumen when it comes to actually using the aircraft to get the mission done, and return on investment on training.

As our Aviators get the the peak usefulness of their flying career we shuffle them somewhere away from where the could best be used in order to provide “career progression “ and force them to repeatedly start over from the bottom of the heap.

I’m currently suffering the effects of this policy as I struggle to keep up with the Cat I students who stepped from one cockpit to this one while I am opening Approach plates for the first time in over two years.

I got really good at admin work on the boat, but my flying brain atrophied. I haven’t flown tactically in over half a decade. I can’t even remember my half shift formula anymore.

If I don’t make XO/CO the ROI for 9 months of training is about 30 months of flying...
Note - written from helo / HSC perspective

This is why super JOs need to happen- beyond the WTI. I have never understood the argument that our hot runners need leadership experience to prep them for DH so we need to send them to a boat to lead 100 ABHs. If a hot runner needs leadership help after a fleet tour and production tour - he/she will not likely figure it out on a boat tour and probably shouldn’t be a DH.

We push that boat tour line and then say it is ok to send the WTI who likely gets less leadership experience @ WWS/Fallon (relative to a FRS IP) to a squadron as a super JO.

The DHs need to be ready to lead multiple aircraft in a complex tactical problem. When the next fight comes, it will be like nothing that we have experienced, and to win, we will need all the experience we can get.
 

robav8r

I have a use for you
None
Contributor
#28
Note - written from helo / HSC perspective

This is why super JOs need to happen- beyond the WTI. I have never understood the argument that our hot runners need leadership experience to prep them for DH so we need to send them to a boat to lead 100 ABHs. If a hot runner needs leadership help after a fleet tour and production tour - he/she will not likely figure it out on a boat tour and probably shouldn’t be a DH.

We push that boat tour line and then say it is ok to send the WTI who likely gets less leadership experience @ WWS/Fallon (relative to a FRS IP) to a squadron as a super JO.

The DHs need to be ready to lead multiple aircraft in a complex tactical problem. When the next fight comes, it will be like nothing that we have experienced, and to win, we will need all the experience we can get.
Great post. There are some interesting conversations occurring in the building about how our forces are postured, trained and equipped to fight a real, no-shit, near peer adversary. These conversations cover all of the services and what we have been doing for the last 16 years, and, more importantly, what we haven't been doing. Perhaps if we bolstered programs like WTI, we wouldn't have as much of a pilot retention issue either, but what the hell do I know . . . .
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
#29
Great post. There are some interesting conversations occurring in the building about how our forces are postured, trained and equipped to fight a real, no-shit, near peer adversary. These conversations cover all of the services and what we have been doing for the last 16 years, and, more importantly, what we haven't been doing. Perhaps if we bolstered programs like WTI, we wouldn't have as much of a pilot retention issue either, but what the hell do I know . . . .
This.
 

sevenhelmet

Did I miss a step?
pilot
#30
What we haven't been doing is husbanding our resources, in terms of keeping corporate knowledge in the cockpit. I'd personally love to see a track-based approach that allowed people a choice to stay in the cockpit post-DH, instead of the "thou shalt go to a staff and then either command or a non-command, non-flying sea tour" mindset. This has been brought up plenty, so I won't belabor the point, but we effectively throw away a lot of resumes that include some very expensive and arguably irreplaceable knowledge.

Do you also need that knowledge on a staff? Arguably yes, but also arguably not in the numbers we currently send to various staffs. I think there is some trade space there for keeping guys in the cockpit and in the community past DH and outside of a command tour.