Navy Establishes Trial Warrant Officer-to-Pilot Program


Story Number: NNS060125-08Release Date: 1/25/2006 12:59:00 PM
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From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy is seeking applications from highly-qualified and hard-charging Sailors for a pilot program that will place 30 selected Chief Warrant Officers (CWO) in aircraft cockpits as pilots and naval flight officers.

The intent is to create flying specialists unencumbered by the traditional career paths of the unrestricted line (URL) community.

"The concept is simple," said Cmdr. Steve Knott, head of Aviation Placement, PERS-433. "Replace a percentage of the pilots and NFOs in squadrons that have large junior officer aviator populations and corresponding low department head opportunity with Chief Warrant Officers who can return to these squadrons again and again and perform the same duties they did before, with no career penalty."

Targeted communities include Patrol (VP), Electronic Attack (VQ(P) and VQ(T)) and the HSC and HSL helicopter communities.

Targeted enlisted candidates include those between paygrades E-5 and E-7 and also young enough to be commissioned by their 27th birthday (29 for NFOs); they must also possess an associate's degree or higher, meet aviation physical qualifications, pass Aviation Standard Battery Test (ASTB) minimums and be eligible for a secret security clearance.

Enlisted Sailors from the Nuclear, Naval Special Warfare(SEAL/SWCC), Naval Special Operations (EOD/Diver) and the Master-at-Arms communities are not eligible.

Selectees will not be eligible for department head (DH) tours and will fill junior officer (JO) billets only. The intent is for flying CWOs not to fill JO billets that are normally considered career milestones for URL officers.

Thirty Sailors will be selected for the pilot program, commissioned as CWO2 prior to LDO/CWO indoctrination, and subsequently undergo flight training. Once winged, program CWOs incur an 8-year minimum service requirement for pilots (6 years for NFOs) and complete traditional sea/shore rotations between operational units and shore-based aviation production sources only (FRS, TRACOM, NSAWC, and Weapon schools).

The newly-winged aviators will receive Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) training and then report to the fleet.

Applications are due to Navy Personnel Command (PERS-432M) no later than March 31.

For more information, refer to NAVADMIN 031/06, available at www.npc.navy.mil or contact your Command Career Counselor.

For related news, visit the Navy Personnel Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/npc/.

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