of climb and can reach 18,000 feet in six minutes. The
aircraft is fully acrobatic, features a pressurized cockpit
with an anti-G suit and modern avionics package.
The TC-12B is being retired in the near future.
What will pick up the slack in multi-engine
Because of its versatility and modern avionics, our
students are able to attain a solid well-rounded foundation for their future aviation careers to include any
advanced training pipeline and on into the fleet. As
with all training systems, we are cautiously evaluating
the media and syllabi. This includes maintenance,
service life, as well as skill attainment in the aircraft.
Today, we’re very happy with the T-6 and I look forward to further utilizing the advancements the T-6 has
over the T-34 to produce an even better pilot.
BULL: The C-12 was never intended to be a dedicated
trainer. It was put into service to be used as a station aircraft. CNATRA acquired the C-12 and redesigned it as
the TC-12 to support multi-engine training as we began
our transition from analog to digital instrumentation
in the T-44 aircraft. The depot is converting T-44As to
T-44Cs with a glass cockpit, and that should extend the
service of the aircraft through 2030. That transition is
When the rest of the T-44C aircraft are delivered,
we’ll sundown the TC-12 aircraft. The remaining
TC-12 aircraft are approaching their service limits and
it is not cost effective to conduct a service life extension on the platform when we’ll have adequate T-44C
aircraft to execute our multi-engine missions. The
TC-12 will be retired at the end of 2017.
The TH-57 training helicopter is getting long in
the tooth. What is the Navy considering about
replacing it or some other solution?
BULL: Looking at new advanced helicopter training
systems, it’s still the very early stages of the require-
ment process. CNATRA is exploring a traditional pro-
curement model in which the Navy owns the aircraft as
well as a service model where an outside partner would
own the aircraft/simulators and CNATRA would pro-
vide the instructors. This is my current No. 1 equip-
ment priority and we’re working it very, very hard.
Has contract maintenance resulted in cost savings and satisfactory aircraft availability?
BULL: A manpower study was conducted some time
ago that determined the contract logistics service had
more advantages than Sailor power. The factors that go
into that analysis and determination are best answered
by Naval Personnel Command. However, having said
that, I’m very proud of our current contractors and the
invaluable support to CNATRA and our nation.
A T-6B Texan II flies over the top of a T-34C in February
2015. T-6s have replaced T-34s as the Navy’s primary training aircraft. The T-6A is used for naval flight officer primary
training and the T-6B for pilot primary training.
Anything else you would like to add?
BULL: I couldn’t be more proud of the men and women
of CNATRA. There are roughly 7,000 people and 700
airplanes — including the Blue Angels — in CNATRA.
Since I’ve been here a little over a year, I have never
been more proud in any of my four commands than I
am with my staff and the leadership that I get to work
with here in CNATRA. It is absolutely eye-watering.
With naval aviation training, and particularly those
young men and women who volunteer to put on the
cloth and fight for this nation, we’re in really good
hands with this latest generation of warriors. n
16 SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2016