SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF), visited bases in Kingsville, Texas; Meridian, Mississippi; and Pensacola, Florida June 28 and 29, to introduce the new chief of naval air training (CNATRA) and to discuss the way forward for training in T-45C Goshawks.
Rear Adm. James Bynum assumed command of CNATRA June 23. This is Bynum's third flag assignment, with his most recent assignment as the commander, Carrier Strike Group 9. The increase in seniority for the CNATRA flag is meant to improve flight safety, address current instructor concerns and manage the return to student training and production plans.
Shoemaker also announced that instructor pilots will resume flying the T-45C with the On-Board Oxygen Generator System (OBOGS) in early July, with students resuming flight training later in the month.
"The safety of our aircrew remains my number one priority," said Shoemaker. "After months of using a modified mask and configuration that circumvented the OBOGS, new mitigation measures have been put in place that give us the confidence to safely resume flight training using the system. These mitigations monitor the breathing gas and alert and protect our aircrew, as well as incorporate new maintenance procedures to ensure the systems are clean and working properly prior to flight."
Instructor pilots will conduct warm-up flights, after which they will brief the remaining pilots and students in their squadrons on use of the new configuration. Students will also require additional warm-up flights prior to the resumption of syllabus training.
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