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E-2/C-2 Life?

zilber

Registered User
pilot
bunk22 said:
I just left VAW-120 a couple months ago as the Student Control Officer and C-2 pilot so I have a little info on this. With most classes at 120, there are usually 2-3 C-2 slots. We like to leave it up to the students to pick what platform they would like. If a decision cannot be made by the students, then we go off their NSS from advanced.
How many students do you usually have in a RAG class graduating at the same time? Thanks.
 

NFOwife

Aviator Spouse
HooverPilot, as a transition guy, don't you already know if you're going E-2 or C-2? You don't have to go through the selection, correct?
 

HooverPilot

CODPilot
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Some of the first transition guys were promised one or the other platform, but not anymore. I have no guarantee's. As far as I know, it will be decided with the rest of the group when I class up.
 

kmac

FLIP Maker
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
We had 4 C-2 guys in my rag class. There were 2 after us, and 3 in the next class. Right now there are a lot more CODs it seems as there have been.

Zilber- Go CODs!
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
The usual number of graduating pilot classes was around 10, give or take. COD pilots were usually anywhere from 2-4 of those. Listen to kmac, select C-2's. Once you get a taste of the community, you won't leave. Kmac, our newest FNG thinks he still wants that Hornet slot but that will change. Nobody has left the C-2 community to fly another aircraft since I've been around. I do know of a couple of E-2 pilots who gladly left to fly other platforms, including the COD :icon_smil
 

HooverPilot

CODPilot
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Bunk - Is there anything to the idea that a transition guy will become a "more rounded" officer if he experiences the COD side after having done a full sea tour as part of the airwing? More rounded as being a better asset to the community. The COD guys I was talking to on the ship said that there is a bit of E-2 guys going to CODs on their second sea tour and COD guys doing E-2 dept head tours to broaden their backgrounds for future selection boards (O-5, Command, etc).
 

kappu411

Naval Aviator
i have heard that it is easier to make o4 and o5 being an e2 pilot instaed of a c2 pilot, that whole 'tactical' category , can someone let me know if this is the case or if it doesnt matter
 

kmac

FLIP Maker
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Bunk made 0-4. It proves than anyone can do it. :icon_tong

I suppose that "tactical" flat-turn circling for hours on end makes them cooler.
Bunk- Which FNG? A Det II guy? Too bad you're not with IV; it looks to be a fun cruise.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
HooverPilot said:
Bunk - Is there anything to the idea that a transition guy will become a "more rounded" officer if he experiences the COD side after having done a full sea tour as part of the airwing? More rounded as being a better asset to the community. The COD guys I was talking to on the ship said that there is a bit of E-2 guys going to CODs on their second sea tour and COD guys doing E-2 dept head tours to broaden their backgrounds for future selection boards (O-5, Command, etc).
You might be considered more rounded when it comes to carrier aviation having deployed as an E-2 pilot. Reason I say this is I flew C-2's off the ship day and night, staying onboard for 6 months as a part of the airwing during my first tour. We called ourselves VAW-30. I certainly consider myself more rounded and appreciative of the difficult nature of a standard airwing cruise. I have a policy of no *****ing in my det, that starts from my E-3's all the way up to me. My C-2 only guys, never flying to the boat at night, never staying on the boat for more than a week or two at a time don't know the sacrifices made cruising that way. The work-ups are harder and longer. As day only, beached based pilots, we definitely have a great deal that shouldn't be taken for granted.

Like I said, I only know of one C-2 pilot who went E-2's and that came down to a choice of doing a shooter tour or flying E-2's as a super JO. This choice was an easy one. Most C-2 skipper's in the recent past and many of the OIC's have been E-2 pilots who transitioned to C-2's, knowing the lifestyle is definitely on the better side with the COD life.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
kappu411 said:
i have heard that it is easier to make o4 and o5 being an e2 pilot instaed of a c2 pilot, that whole 'tactical' category , can someone let me know if this is the case or if it doesnt matter
That used to be the case, not to long ago, but changed in the mid 90's when C-2's became a warfare speciality with the night stuff and special ops (though never used in real scenario's, only practice). Making O-5 isn't a problem and the last couple of C-2 skippers that didn't retire on the east and west coast have all made O-6 though all were prior E-2 pilots. The XO of VRC-40 is the first XO and soon to be CO to have flow only C-2's in his career as is our incoming XO next year (he did fly F-14's as CAG paddles but that is different). I bet both of those pilots will make O-6 if they decide to stay in. A COD only guy making O-7 will probably never happen though.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
kmac said:
Bunk made 0-4. It proves than anyone can do it. :icon_tong

I suppose that "tactical" flat-turn circling for hours on end makes them cooler.
Bunk- Which FNG? A Det II guy? Too bad you're not with IV; it looks to be a fun cruise.
I had a pulse.........thus I made O-4 :D

As the squadron's FNG, how's DET-IV? Are you guys/gals using the new det patch I designed? By the way, I let my wife know that you were the duty guy at the party the other night and not cock weak. Meaning, your non-drinking. I just didn't want her to think there was a COD pilot out there who couldn't handle his liquor ;) You have an image to uphold, don't let me down.
 

kmac

FLIP Maker
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Bunky-
Truth be told, I did go out and have a beer or two after the party. Of course today is Thanksgiving, and again I'm the duty b*atch. When my parents were up visiting this past weekend they dropped off a ton of beer into my refridgerator; I'm holding my own.
As far as the patch goes, so far I've only seen petty officer "Pimpson" with it. I think Tater or Josh has them for $5 a pop. Don't worry, we'll all have them once we really get going, but right now we're still part of homeguard. Just about all of the flying right now is with homeguard but overall the guys in the det seem to be top quality. We'll all be wearing that patch soon enough. Is there anyone as div-o I need to be looking out for? ...kidding.
You still didn't answer the question... who wants a hornet slot? Is he nuts?!
 

mdubs

Active Member
pilot
Some questions for bunk or anyone else who knows. As a C-2 det are you deployed for 6 months basically following the carrier around? Is everybody pretty much stationed in Norfolk or North Island and then deploys with the battle group? How are your work-ups different from the rest of the air wing? When everybody says the quality of life is great is that because you aren't on the boat or because you get hooked up with per diem? How does family life stack up against the rest of the other carrier platforms? I am about to select and haven't gotten a chance to talk to any E-2/C-2 guys because I am trapped at an AF base. Thanks.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
mdubs said:
Some questions for bunk or anyone else who knows. As a C-2 det are you deployed for 6 months basically following the carrier around? Is everybody pretty much stationed in Norfolk or North Island and then deploys with the battle group? How are your work-ups different from the rest of the air wing? When everybody says the quality of life is great is that because you aren't on the boat or because you get hooked up with per diem? How does family life stack up against the rest of the other carrier platforms? I am about to select and haven't gotten a chance to talk to any E-2/C-2 guys because I am trapped at an AF base. Thanks.
There are two C-2 squadrons, VRC-30 (San Diego) and VRC-40 (Norfolk). Every airwing has a C-2 det assinged to it and that det will go on cruise with the Airwing, for however long that is. With the new FRP schedule, things are often dynamic and nothing is gauranteed. Our 3 1/2 month cruise has turned into a 5 mos cruise, minimum. My last two cruises were 6 months a piece. Our work-ups are relatively easy, we only fly to the ship when it is deployed. We don't follow the airwing to say, Fallon. What this does is give us a better home life. We don't have tactics that we have to continually keep up on and practice, we don't have to do drug ops, we simply stay at the squadron, do our jobs, FCLP, CQ, and have a good time with the single life in San Diego or with the family. Hopefully paradrops will come back for some good ole spec ops work but other than that, pretty mundane in the COD world.

I wouldn't always say life is great but we do have it better off than boat life. I've spent time on ship, 9 out of the 12 mos of my first two cruises were spent on the boat. I've flown day and night from the ship. Now that we are day only, it definitely eases things on the sphincter side. Also, being ahsore in hotels or a BOQ means decent food, a good shower, good per diem (sometimes) and often some quality beer time ;) It is a benefit, especially with somewhat dull flying. Being shored based also helps boost morale. Right now, my det is flying day in and day out in support of Operation Unified Assistance (Indonesia relief) and we have been getting our butts kicked. I just hit the 50 hour mark in only 8 or so days of flying. Being the OIC means I don't always get to fly as much as the JO's because of all the other BS.

The premise of COD ops is to follow the boat around and support it when needed. The east coast does an excellent job of this being that there isn't much a problem traveling through Europe. The moment they are within reach of shore, off they go. I know some VRC-40 guys who in two cruise spent maybe a total of a week on a carrier. On the West Coast, we ride the boat across then fly off as soon as we can shore base, then island hop to keep up with the ship. It's not always easy or possible because of the distances involved in the Pacific and overflight clearence is difficult to get in Asia and the Mid-East. Some west coast CAG's also like to keep the C-2's on the boat. Our CAG does not.

There is nothing glorious or glamorous about flying the C-2. It's a difficult plane to fly in the take-off and landing regime and is probably one of the last, truly, stick (control column actually) and rudder aircraft. The community offers good leadership jobs and making O-5 is not a problem. Just expect to be the red headed step child when assigned to an airwing. Absolutely no respect is given to us........that's the way we like it :D Especially since I have yet to meet another aviator type (fighter, strike, helo) that could out party or out drink us :icon_smil
 
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