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HM community

#1
I've always wanted to fly helos, just finished primary with a very good NSS, put helos first, and got selected for helos. :D Now I'm waiting in advanced pool with nothing to do... I've read probably every single post on this website about the Navy 53s, but much of it is outdated (and limited due to there only being the 2 squadrons).

There is quite a lot of current info about the 60s and what exactly they do/train to do, but not much about the 53s. Obviously there's the mine-sweeping mission, but I've heard they do less of that due to the Sierra taking some of the mission. Is there truth to that? If so, what are the other missions/tasks the HM squadrons do? Also, I've heard they don't get deployed on ships, but get detted out, or something of the sort. What are the details of that? Do the pilots in the squadrons get more, less, or the same amount of hours as the 60 squadrons? Does it look like the Navy will get the 53K at some point? I've got all sorts of questions, but am hoping someone can give me a general overview of the community, and how they like it.

I realize I can use the search function, but like I said, the current info seems to be limited, and I've read most of the old stuff. I would just wait until Advanced and ask instructors there... but while I'm sitting around for a while I figure there's no harm in using this forum to get some extra info before I get there.

Any responses are greatly appreciated!
 

RadicalDude

Social Justice Warlord
#2
I have a few pretty good friends flying -53s.

They would all recommend you pick something other than -53s.

The material readiness is so poor as to be newsworthy: http://pilotonline.com/news/militar...cle_060a4418-c412-56c4-b731-da48c25f5d73.html

They get significantly less hours than -60 guys, from what I understand, again due to the horrific maintenance situation. Most of my buddys' hours come from flying FCFs, and thats when they get off the ground.

Deployments are primarily Korea and Bahrain... but could change.

Again, this is all second hand, so take it with a grain of salt.
 

sickboy

Active Member
pilot
#3
Also, the couple of 53 guys I winged with are all on some pretty serious first tour extensions. Also, you're guaranteed Norfolk.

Still a cool platform, but I'd have some serious discussions with any 53 IPs your come across.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
#4
If you want to spend your weekends ground turning so you can FCF on Monday go 53s.

If hornets are the bright center of Naval Aviation, HM is the Oort Cloud.

Every 53 driver I've ever met loved the Big Iron. But most of them had 2/3 of the flight hours their 60 peers did.

Knowing what I know now if I were selecting out of HTs I'd go HSM.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#7
What they said. My friends in HM love the Big Iron and are proud of it, but will also go on and on about the poor condition of the birds and how they're on Navy Air's Island of Misfit Toys. No money, mo' problems.

I would bet eventually HM will get -53Ks, but it'll be years coming and the Navy will kick and scream the whole way.
 

fc2spyguy

loving my warm and comfy 214 blanket
pilot
Contributor
#8
What they said. My friends in HM love the Big Iron and are proud of it, but will also go on and on about the poor condition of the birds and how they're on Navy Air's Island of Misfit Toys. No money, mo' problems.

I would bet eventually HM will get -53Ks, but it'll be years coming and the Navy will kick and scream the whole way.
From what I've been told the K can't do the mission. Something about too much carbon fiber and not designed with tow stresses considered.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
#9
I'd be cautious intentionally selecting into a dying community plagued by lack of funding, mx problems and no tangible replacement on the horizon...

I entered the P-3 community during the dark ages in between the first and second red stripes (that took our community from 24(ish) squadrons and 300 aircraft down to 12 squadrons and about 65 flyable aircraft)... it was painful to say the least. The few remaining flyable aircraft were fatigue life limited evert month to either 54 or 86 Hours/ month depending on how long they projected until the wings fell off, and proficiency were hard to come by. It took a squadron CO crashing a plane for the community to focus on basic piloting skills. Not good times.

Having been stationed in Norfolk and seeing the 53 community there are some parallels between the two communities- except the P3 community had a replacement on the horizon so there was hope that it would get better and eventually that came to fruition in the P8. So far the only real hope the 53 has is that big Navy hasn't found a platform capable of replacing it yet which leaves it in this purgatory where Navair didn't want to invest money into it and it took a terrible mishap and media coverage exposing how neglected the community was for the Navy to prioritize funding to the community.

It's a beast and fun to fly according to the pilots I've talked to (when they fly), but there are many downsides.

Caveat Emptor
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#10
...I would bet eventually HM will get -53Ks, but it'll be years coming and the Navy will kick and scream the whole way.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Navy tried to divest itself of the mission entirely given the cost of procuring new aircraft and the low priority Big Navy gives mine warfare.

From what I've been told the K can't do the mission. Something about too much carbon fiber and not designed with tow stresses considered.
Eh, I would be wary of that claim when the Japanese replaced their Mh-53's with ECH-101's (AW101's) and use a version of the same minehunting system as the 53.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
#11

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#12
I wouldn't be surprised if the Navy tried to divest itself of the mission entirely given the cost of procuring new aircraft and the low priority Big Navy gives mine warfare.
Maybe. I think it would depend on the leadership personalities involved at the time, but I doubt they'd just let the mission die. Considering how much money they've flushed away on minehunting pipe dreams for the -60s and LCS, clearly we (the Navy) don't consider the mission disposable, and as long as a SoH-closure scenario is plausible, no Air Boss is going to sign off on the decision to lose the capability. CNAF just really, really wants to neck down to all-Hawk airframes.

And I really doubt that the 53K can't do sweeping. "Not designed to do it," maybe, but shit, they even tried to tow with a -60. If they decide to buy K's for HM, they'll find a way to do it.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#13
Q-24 is only part of the 53's MIW suite. Not sure if Japan uses influence sweep gear like the Mk 105 or OASIS with the ECH-101.
And I really doubt that the 53K can't do sweeping. "Not designed to do it," maybe, but shit, they even tried to tow with a -60. If they decide to buy K's for HM, they'll find a way to do it.
Until they do some actual analysis or testing I think folks are talking out of their ass whether or not a platform other than the current MH-53's can do the mission.

Maybe. I think it would depend on the leadership personalities involved at the time, but I doubt they'd just let the mission die. Considering how much money they've flushed away on minehunting pipe dreams for the -60s and LCS, clearly we (the Navy) don't consider the mission disposable, and as long as a SoH-closure scenario is plausible, no Air Boss is going to sign off on the decision to lose the capability. CNAF just really, really wants to neck down to all-Hawk airframes.
I think they will keep some sort of 'minehunting' capability but it may be much less capable than the current setup due to fiscal restraints and higher priorities. I obviously can't say that is what will happen but I see the community being painted into a corner through neglect and folks not really caring, having seen the same thing happen to other small but important communities through my career in DoD the ending rarely is a happy one.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#14
I think they will keep some sort of 'minehunting' capability but it may be much less capable than the current setup due to fiscal restraints and higher priorities. I obviously can't say that is what will happen but I see the community being painted into a corner through neglect and folks not really caring, having seen the same thing happen to other small but important communities through my career in DoD the ending rarely is a happy one.
Agreed. It never ceases to amaze me that the Navy doesn't learn our lesson when it comes to betting everything on unproven technology. "We don't need to replace/fund/improve (x), because the ZY-21 Wonder Dingus will be operational in two years and it'll work perfectly!"
 
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