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Fleet fly in 2018

thump

New Member
pilot
#31
Mmmm...that makes me moist.

Promotional rates haven't been much of a guiding concern for me, but it's worth considering if someone with a spreadsheet can show that 90% of people who wind up in the operational 60 took FRS/WTI and only 10% clawed their way back from HT/VT. If my end goal was that I wanted to fly the 60 at sea again (arguably the most career fun I've ever had), then what I do with the next tour matters more. If the numbers are always in flux and I'm not fucking myself by doing something I'd rather do in the short term, then obviously I'll do that thing.

But, above all, this is an online forum with a wide range of experience/wisdom/knowledge, and all knowledge is worth having.
If the goal is back to sea in the 60, consider that WTI gets you there regardless of boards and without a penalty turn in a SWO billet.

The way retention is trending you’re probably safe doing anything you want anyway.
 

CUBUFFS4134

HSC, FRS, Now haze gray and underway, all 1100 ft.
pilot
Contributor
#32
Mother of God, I'm taking crazy pills. Where do Thump and Squorch get their data. Yes, in many communities there is a retention problem, but not in HSC, haven't heard such in HSM but not my community. Since Naval Aviation came into existence there have been loads of people that decide that after their MSR, they want to move to other pastures. Often times, several of them are the ones that the Navy should try their hardest to keep. Some of the best pilots I have flown with are either in business, FTS, Coast Guard, or other ventures. But the vast majority of them stayed in. And the slates back this statement up. (THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE VFA/VAQ/HM)

Not even going to venture into the "penalty turn in a SWO billet." Not only is that statement stupid as shit, it probably comes from someone with no experience in a disassociated tour that was valuable to Naval Aviation. Because, again, newsflash they are. (see Hook '18 Panels thread in Private Naval Aviators) Happy to be proven wrong based on your career track, thump.
 

croakerfish

Well-Known Member
pilot
#33
Mother of God, I'm taking crazy pills. Where do Thump and Squorch get their data. Yes, in many communities there is a retention problem, but not in HSC, haven't heard such in HSM but not my community. Since Naval Aviation came into existence there have been loads of people that decide that after their MSR, they want to move to other pastures. Often times, several of them are the ones that the Navy should try their hardest to keep. Some of the best pilots I have flown with are either in business, FTS, Coast Guard, or other ventures. But the vast majority of them stayed in. And the slates back this statement up. (THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE VFA/VAQ/HM)

Not even going to venture into the "penalty turn in a SWO billet." Not only is that statement stupid as shit, it probably comes from someone with no experience in a disassociated tour that was valuable to Naval Aviation. Because, again, newsflash they are. (see Hook '18 Panels thread in Private Naval Aviators) Happy to be proven wrong based on your career track, thump.
Who pissed in your Wheaties? If you don't know that even the golden boy SWTIs are starting to inch their way to the door you must not talk to many people.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#34
Newsflash, the bonus has little to nothing to do with mission/community value and everything to do with asses in the seats. Case in point, VP/VQ is very valuable and they sit at 75000 with us. HM/VFA/VAQ, all at 175000 have a RETENTION problem. Period.

And while there are guys that are going FTS/transferring/getting out within the community, it hasn't moved the needle much. Look at the DH slate this year. Overwhelming majority were FRS/WTI/-85 as usual, with several HT/VT. 1 VX guy and 0 beyond that. I'd say that's pretty healthy. Sitting in wardrooms across the sea wall, we are inching in the wrong direction, but nowhere near other communities with regards to retaining talent. Here's a tip, I don't talk about shit that isn't in my swim lane. I don't make guesses about VFA or other communities and their future, or any other. If I did, I'd be Sculpin.
First part: agree wholeheartedly.
Second part: I don't know if that's a function of a healthy community as much as it is just overloading wardrooms with JO's and making less DH's than HSM. A CVW squadron you go from like 20-25 JOs to 5 DH's. I imagine the numbers are slightly worse for east coast expeditionary squadrons. HSC has a STEEP drop off as a result of JO to DH ratio compared to other communities. Anecdotally, there are a lot of dudes quitting from HSC... and yet HSC still seems to be one of the leaders of the pack in simultaneously being able to make DH's and let people lat transfer (neither of those last two are anecdotal, those are factual based on the past several boards).
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#35
To hone in very specifically on this tiny extract: Would you mind clarifying what you mean here? Do HT/VT instructors face tougher DH selection statistics than other production-tour pilots who stay in model (e.g., FRS, WTI)?
Some guys from HT/VT make DH or OP-T DH. 0 from the last board in any helicopter community made command after having had any tour in the HT's or VT's. I've known one to exist, a former skipper of mine.
 
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AllYourBass

Mistrap Queen
pilot
#36
Some guys from HT/VT make DH or OP DH. 0 from the last board in any helicopter community made command after having had any tour in the HT's or VT's. I've known one to exist, a former skipper of mine.
I guess another possibly longer-range consideration for me is the difference between "making command" and "staying in" (if that difference exists). There's a lot of fun-sounding shit out there that isn't being an aviation CO, but I don't know what a lot of those paths look like.
 

croakerfish

Well-Known Member
pilot
#37
Some guys from HT/VT make DH or OP DH. 0 from the last board in any helicopter community made command after having had any tour in the HT's or VT's. I've known one to exist, a former skipper of mine.
The current XO of my fleet squadron was a VT instructor, and we had multiple DHs with HT/VT backgrounds.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#38
I guess another possibly longer-range consideration for me is the difference between "making command" and "staying in" (if that difference exists). There's a lot of fun-sounding shit out there that isn't being an aviation CO, but I don't know what a lot of those paths look like.
Yeah, understood. I'm an HT guy now from the HSC community. If I was in your shoes, I'd be putting down and VT's and not disclosing it to your CO/XO. They don't need to know. HT/VT's are still long days - but they are long days flying. Vetween the brief and 2-3 flights per day + gradesheets you're looking at 8-10 hours per day. While there's no maintenance roles like at the FRS, there's still plenty of ground jobs to excel in as well and those tougher jobs do go to top players. VT's are at least as much fun as the HT's plus your flight hours count for something. I love the HT's but don't love my career outlook - no command possibility and almost no one cares about the HT hours. Happy to discuss via PM if you're interested. Full disclosure: I asked for the VT's and remain wistful for that career path.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#39
The current XO of my fleet squadron was a VT instructor, and we had multiple DHs with HT/VT backgrounds.
I'm just saying the most recent board in HSC/HM/HSM had 0 select for command from any CNATRA tour. 0. In my fleet experience, among 3 squadrons that shared our building, we had 1 CO from the HT's and 1 DH from the HT's. The rest were all FRS, SWTI, and one was a test bubba who earned his SWTI patch during test.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#40
So the fleet fly in is next month and I’m trying to make sure I ask the right questions for each community brief. Looking back on your career what information would you have liked to know before you filled out your dream sheet.
1. Ask what deployments are like for them.
2. Ask about the best and worst flying they've done. (I thought plane guard and VERTREP would be boring, but 4 searches for real people, a rescue, and the awesome fun that is VERTREP ended up being awesome just like my instructors had told me it would be.)
3. Ask how hard it is to keep flying from the community, assuming that's your preference.

I'm at the HT's and happy to discuss. I'm very open about the faults and great things about my community (HSC). PM if you want to discuss, happy to meet in person.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#42
Helo hours still count for ATP mins no? You just need the 250 fixed plus the multi time.
Yeah. Is anyone leaving the fleet without those these days (as in is anyone leaving under 750)? Outside of a 40-60k / year EMS or BP job (ok those are a little more), no one cares about single engine helo time. Compare that to a Helo guy turned VT, and guess what? He has complex fixed wing time and can go straight to the regionals and keep the bonus all to himself instead of spending it all on a RTP program (I get it, there's different variations, but that's the general scheme of maneuver with the regionals).
 

CUBUFFS4134

HSC, FRS, Now haze gray and underway, all 1100 ft.
pilot
Contributor
#45
No one pissed in my wheaties, thanks. The problem is that I, like many others on Airwarriors, have little tolerance for those who speak out of their rectal area. "You're out of your element, Donny." 3 years in RAG and a billet that required constant travel put me in the squadrons on both coasts every week, to include the WWSs. You are correct that there are SWTIs that are leaving active duty, there always have been. I can drop every one of them by name, as I have been able to for years. That's not a brag, just reality that I "talk" to a lot of bubbas in the HSC community.

If you look at the DH slate from 2017, I would have been inclined to agree with you. Lots of names (especially second look) on the OP side of the slate that weren't even on the results list at all, much less OP-T to OP. Pilots that haven't flown AT ALL since their JO tour, and a couple station SAR. That is unheard of and a bit concerning. When I see 2017 for two or more years in a row, I'll be concerned. That hadn't happened in years before, and it didn't happen this year. Yet this year, it was 27 FRS/WTI/85, 10 HT/1 VT/1 VX. None outside of production/flying tours.

Talking to JOs currently, I don't necessarily like what I hear, but I wouldn't call that uncommon from guys that are near the end of the first tour, with 2 or more deployments. What I hope we don't do, not that we can control it, is put our head in the sand when a retention problem does manifest, and pretend that there isn't one. Oh, and in 8 years in this community, I can think of 3 COs that weren't FRS/WTI/84,85/TPS, with the overwhelming majority FRS/WTI. No one argued that there aren't plenty of HT/VT DHs, but I'll give you a guess as to what, in most cases, their purpose was in the squadron.
 
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