Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
So, are you talking about AFSOC? Maybe I shouldn't pry too much.There are some very specialized fixed wing units that can fly most every airframe in the US military, but they aren’t a Navy unit. The Army and Air Force officer manning structure lends itself to supporting a unit like that much more so than the Navy.
In my (very limited) experience, this goes for SOF in general . . . often overlooked in the whole "ZOMG SOF how badass" thing is that they're not there to just be "more-badass" versions of regular infantry. They have specific mission sets that aren't the same as Army or Marine infantry. The whole point of "special" operations is to do different, unique, specialized tasks for COCOMs and the NCA. Just like any other military unit, their structure and training are driven by their ROCPOE . . . Required Operational Capabilities and Projected Operational Environment. Which includes a list of specified tasks the unit is expected to accomplish, which determines their manning and training requirements. And there's your doctrine geekery of the day.OP, you are way over thinking this. First of all, the Flying Tigers were contractors and hardly “elite” pilots. Greg Boyington, nor any other member had any air-to-air kills before they got to China. Typically individual pilots earn “elite” status as individuals...so many carrier landings, schools, earning experience. They in turn share their experience with younger squadron members. As for the 160th (and I have spent time with them) their training in night flying training is what makes them “elite.” They train in specific skills that SOF units need, but these days most combat-focused helicopter squadrons/battalions can carry out the work...just not with the specialized equipment the SOAR guys have. Even with SOAR, guys they do their time, get their training, and eventually head back out to the ordinary force. Put simply, I’d rather have 100 elite guys spread across several squadrons than one elite squadron.
If a USAF pilot selects MC-130's out of flight school = now in AFSOCI understand that, but language, culture, and counterinsurgency/FID/guerrilla warfare training costs a lot of money, and I'm assuming it's pretty selective in AFSOC.
After the definite input, almost all answers bear as if NavAir is a strike fighter community and nothing more. Let me put here the two old Navy HS squadrons especially honed for SOF support, HSC-84 and -85, which had acted in this field for 40 years. As the thesis enforcement of topic is namely 160th, which is a helo experts pool, why not to bring the Red Wolves and Firehawks here as a countermeasure?Those two combined (as well as many other equally important reasons which I don't feel like explaining) are why we don't need a 160th version of fighters
Because that wasn't the original question that was asked. It was asked specifically about TACAIR/AF Fighter guys.As the thesis enforcement of topic is namely 160th, which is a helo experts pool, why not to bring the Red Wolves and Firehawks here as a countermeasure?
Those units weren't the Navy's SOF support squadrons. They were squadrons that the Navy was paying for that happened to find a niche mission and customer. That's not uncommon in the Reserve helicopter community. "The Navy" wasn't/isn't particularly concerned about the SOF support portion of what they do.Since Navy already had those two units for SOF support and that was enough, why to reshape the more expensive tactical assets, the tailhook, for the same reason?
Also, with regards to squadrons, think of it this way. You can sequester your patch-wearers into one unit, where you'll have a bunch of (usually) very talented and up-to speed folks. Or, you can return these folks to the fleet, and put them in billets where their entire job is making the entire force better and more current. Thus, you end up with ever more talented and effective aviators after the next generation has been coached up. Which, perhaps surprisingly, is why we call patch-wearers Tactics Instructors . . .
I've read that most, if not all in VFC-12 are TOPGUN grads, but I'm guessing it's a different situation for them since they're adversaries.Funny- I was recently talking to the old man about some things and he brought up an interest piece of info. Apparently there was a Guard F-16 unit that at one point required every new hire to be a FWS grad. Soon enough the squadron was full of patch wearers. The opposite effect of what was intended took place and they had not only the worst performance all of the big exercises, but also the highest mishap rate by a significant amount. A squadron full of primadonnas doesn't do so well. This was 20 years ago and I'm sure that there were other leadership factors that didn't help, but...
B-2's then... or F-117's since those are flying everywhere these days...
THAT I can believe. When I was at CRM-I school, I noticed that a vast majority of their mishap case studies had a patch in the cockpit. I then started thinking about all my friends that have had mishaps (everything from tip caps to class A's) and again, mostly patches. I asked the Naval Safety center if they had a statistic on mishap rates with patches and they didn't have the data easily accessible. If my perception is correct, is it because we tend to fly more, are put in situations do the high risk stuff, push for a higher level of training, or are just prima donnas? On the RW side probably a little of everything I suppose.Soon enough the squadron was full of patch wearers. The opposite effect of what was intended took place and they had not only the worst performance all of the big exercises, but also the highest mishap rate by a significant amount. A squadron full of primadonnas doesn't do so well.