• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Difference in Cat 5 syllabus time between Sierra and Romeo coming from UH-60?


New Member
I'm currently flying the UH-60L/M (Aircraft Commander) for the Army, and am in the process of applying to fly 60's for the Navy Reserve. The main thing I haven't been able to get a clear picture on is whether the conversion training time would be any different between going from Army Blackhawks to the Sierra vs Romeo. From what I understand the Sierra model is basically a Lima model Blackhawk with a few small differences and the glass cockpit from the Mike model, minus the autopilot, and the mission tasks and tactics are very similar to my existing background (sling loads, medevac, search and rescue, fire bucket, troop movements, etc) while the Romeo of course is a mission ASW/ASUW that I have zero experience or background in and thus would need to be trained up on. I would expect that the Cat 5 syllabus for going from Blackhawks to Romeos would be longer than Blackhawks to Sierras, but a few folks have indicated that it is more or less the same timeframe (6+ months). Seeking any guidance or expertise in this arena.


Well-Known Member
Site Admin
First of all, a CAT 5 syllabus is code for "whatever makes sense to get you through the program." It's generally for O-5s/PCOs and other drug deals. If you were to go through as a "former" Blackhawk pilot, you'd most likely go through as a CAT 2C (Current), but with a modified syllabus since you didn't have previous experience that's applicable to the ATO phase. Spoiler alert, this modified syllabus, by definition, means it's a CAT 5 syllabus, but you'll most likely see it spelled out as "CAT 2C." Yes, it's a little confusing.

What does all that mean, in reality? Basically you'd go through the Pilot phase as a CAT 2C, but you'd go through the ATO (tactics) phase as a CAT 1. A typical CAT 2C is ~5 months, a CAT 1 is about 8 months, so the actual time will be somewhere in between. Having flown with Sierra transition guys and the odd Army Blackhawk person as an IP, I'd say you'd pick up the pilot phase stuff fairly quickly (basically your tailwheel and left main touch down differently on landing and autos will be "weird" due to weight/CG) but you would want to pay attention to the software stuff along the way, as it will appear to be designed by a retarded monkey. The ATO phase will be a lot to learn, but you'd be coming at it from a different perspective than a normal CAT 1.

If you're looking to apply to a HSM unit in the Reserves, there's really only two to go to and I've flown for and with both. One will be a training command unit (in San Diego) and getting in there will be tough as a SELRES and not really possible as FTS*. The other is an operational unit in Jax, which will be tough to pickup as a SELRES, but there's currently a former Guard pilot there now that did so, but her timing was somewhat unique and the Hawk pilot that applied after her didn't get picked up. FTS is a different matter. If going FTS, expect to go through the AC fleet training squadron on orders. If SELRES, expect the same, but there's a little more flexibility to do some of it in-house.

*Except when they need a body, which is now, but even then, not normally a first tour FTS billet for several reasons.


Nerd Whirler
One note: The 60R/S cockpit is glass, but not like the 60M at all.

Okay, two notes: In my experience, the Sierra bubbas will still make you do at least 3-4 months at the FRS, relearning how to land, auto, do SAR, etc. Their FRSes are notably inflexible.