Sat, Jan 22, 2005
Service Takes Action to Balance Student Pilot Population
The Commander, Naval
Air Forces has identified an excess of student naval aviators in
the training pipeline, based on current and near-term fleet needs.
Starting immediately, several steps will be taken to meet future
Commander, Naval Air Forces and Commander, Naval Education and
Training Command are committed to identifying and training the
number of aviators necessary to meet fleet requirements. The
reduced requirements are due to several factors, including the
accelerated transition to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from the F-14
Tomcat, the sundowning of the S-3 Viking community, and the
disestablishment of two EA-6B Prowler squadrons.
Historically, the training production rate has been
approximately 1,200 aviators per year. Analysis indicates an excess
of approximately 160 student naval aviators currently in training.
A number of policy changes are required to ensure that
combat-quality aviators are deployed to the fleet in the numbers
required to sustain current and future requirements.
performance standards have been adjusted for Aviation Pre-flight
Indoctrination (API) classes at Naval Aviation Schools Command.
Additional minimum standards may be applied to other stages of
flight training in the event the excess is not reduced on schedule.
This process is performance-based, and each student naval aviator
has and will continue to have the opportunity to compete for
selection and retention.
Current strategies to properly shape the force consist of
controlling the inputs from commissioning sources, such as the U.S.
Naval Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Officer
Candidate Schools (OCS), as well as offering opportunities to serve
in other flying careers within the Naval Reserve and transfers to
the U.S. Marine Corps in an aviation unit.
These force shaping initiatives are required to make sure the
right number of naval aviators are trained to meet the needs of
Naval Aviation. These initiatives are expected to achieve
force-shaping goals as early as May 2005, but no later than the end
of December 2005.
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