A four-year degree is required to work as a Navy Pilot or Naval Flight Officer. Marine SNFOs can only select carrier aviation. Similarly, Marine Corps NFOs are also considered eligible for command at sea and ashore within Marine aviation, and are also eligible to hold senior general officer positions, such as command of Marine aircraft wings, Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs), joint task forces, Marine expeditionary forces, Marine Corps component commands and unified combatant commands. What’s the difference between Navy Pilots vs. Air Force Pilots? Although it is true that Naval Aviators can also transition their piloting expertise into civilian careers as commercial airline pilots and that NFOs are not able to similarly translate their skills into this career field unless augmented by associated FAA pilot certificates, the military aviation career opportunities of NFOs remain on par with their Naval Aviator counterparts, as do their post-military career prospects in the civilian sector in defense, aviation & aerospace, as well as other career pursuits beyond that of commercial airline pilot. They can serve as aircraft mission commanders, although in accordance with the OPNAVINST 3710 series of instructions, the pilot in command, regardless of rank, is always responsible for the safe piloting of the aircraft. He later served in four separate 4-star assignments, to include command of two unified combatant commands. How To Choose The Right Military Branch For You, 25 percent short of fighter pilots needed in critical areas, Air Force Aerospace & Operational Physiology (4M0X1): Career Details, current shortage of 800 active-duty pilots, How To Get Into The US Naval Academy: 5 Challenging Steps, Which Branch Of The Military Should I Join? The Air Force also has an esteem flight demonstration team known as the Thunderbirds. Copyright © 2021 www.OperationMilitaryKids.org. Navy pilots traditionally serve on aircraft carriers at sea, or military bases on shores like the East and West Coast. NFOs are not trained to pilot the aircraft, although they do train in some dual-control aircraft and are given the opportunity to practice "hands on controls" basic airmanship techniques. From there, prospective Pilots and NFOs attend primary flight training. NFOs are not pilots (naval aviators), but they may perform many "co-pilot" functions, depending on the type of aircraft. See our advertising policy here. When deciding between the Air Force or Navy for pilot school you also want to consider the different duty stations. The new rank insignia was nicknamed "the blue pickle". In all, the specific roles filled by an NFO can vary greatly depending on the type of aircraft and squadron to which an NFO is assigned. Vice Admiral Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr. became the 62nd superintendent of the U.S. IFS is normally waived for students entering training with a private pilot license. Training consists of four phases: After primary, students who have selected E-2s or land-based maritime aviation (P-3, P-8, EP-3, E-6) check into VT-4 for advanced maritime command and control (MC2) training. As a group, they are both referred to as "aircrew." Initial pilot training in the Navy lasts approximately six months. Here are some of the most prominent Air Force bases in the world: Some of the finest international AF bases include: Related Article: Army Helicopter Pilot Requirements. Related Article: Marine Corps Pilot Requirements. Rear Admiral Benjamin Thurman Hacker was the first NFO flag officer, having been selected in 1980. It replaced the Grumman F-14 Tomcat which was officially retired in 2006. Rear Admiral Stanley W. Bryant was the first NFO selected for the Navy's Nuclear Power Program as a Commander in 1986. Some current and recently retired naval aircraft with side-by-side seating are also authorized to operate under dual-piloted weather minimums with one pilot and one NFO. A small number of US Navy NFOs have later opted for a lateral transfer to the restricted line (RL) as aeronautical engineering duty officers (AEDO), while continuing to retain their NFO designation and active flight status. Colonel John C. Church, Sr., USMC (Ret.) We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. However, the majority of NFOs (as well as Naval Aviators) from aircraft being retired have historically been afforded the opportunity to transition to another aircraft platform, such as F-4 and F-14 transitions to the F/A-18D and F/A-18F, A-6 transitions to the EA-6B and S-3, S-3 transitions to the P-3/P-8, E-2 and F/A-18F, and EA-6B transitions to the EA-18G. Those entering aviation programs must first attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI, and then complete a six-week air indoctrination course at Naval Aviation Schools Command, in Pensacola, FL. Requirements to become a pilot in the USAF and Navy are similar and training takes a little less than two years to complete in both branches. The Super Hornet has tremendous capabilities as it can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. The following are options specifically with regard to naval aviators: (1) Restrict to flight duties of next lower service group. Introductory flight training involves 25 hours of hands-on flying for ROTC or Officer Training School graduates that lack a civilian pilot’s license. The main difference between USAF and Navy pilots is the aircraft type and size. The biggest difference between the Air Force and Navy pilot training is that Navy pilots also need to learn the extra skill of landing on aircraft carriers. Naval Academy in 1981, was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1982, and graduated from the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in 1985. While there are overall some subtle differences, the truth is that both Navy pilots and Air Force pilots are highly respected and equally skilled. General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether … Military pilots in the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are all commissioned officers and thus are paid on the U.S. military pay tables for officers -- which are the same for every branch of the service and based upon rank and time in the service. Air Force pilots get considered more specialized because of their air-to-air role. Read the full article below to learn more about the requirements, training, duty stations, aircraft, and more of each military flight program. All Student NFOs begin primary training at Training Squadron TEN (VT-10), flying the T-6A Texan II trainer, eventually moving on to advanced training at Training Squadron 4 (VT-4) or Training Squadron 86 (VT-86). There are several disqualifying factors including colorblindness and issues with depth perception. Pilot training takes place in two stages at the Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base (San Antonio). For example, did you know that some AF bases throughout the world have added luxuries like swimming pools and golf courses? SNFOs progress through one or two of 4 strands, depending on what platform they select: The common navigation strand consists of: SNFOs report to VT-86 and fly the T-45C Goshawk. He previously flew the P-2 Neptune and P-3 Orion. The stick and rudder skills, along with the intense focus and training that makes landing on an aircraft carrier an impressive feat to watch. The naval aviator insignia is a warfare qualification of the United States military that is awarded to those aviators of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who have qualified as naval aviators. AF pilots also specialize in radar and intercept work as part of their air-to-air duties. 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