SPECIAL REPORT / AIR WARFARE & FLIGHT OPERATIONS
How many aviators and NFOs
are trained each year by
BULL: We typically train about
1,300 winged aviators — both
pilot and NFO — [from the] Navy,
Marine Corps, Coast Guard and
foreign military officers each year.
We train a handful of Air Force
folks, too. That’s been a steady-state production requirement for
about the last four years and is
forecast to remain the same in the
Meeting this number is a huge
priority for us and we’ll continue
to meet the needs of the fleet, but
part of that is ensuring these pilots
are ready to meet the demands of
today’s Navy. Having said that, a
thorough syllabus review is vital,
and we won’t sacrifice this to meet
the number. …
It is important to understand
that all the airplanes that I’m train-
ing these young men and women
for are new — with the exception
of the C- 2, which is going to be
replaced by the V- 22 — so we need
to be able to continuously re-evaluate how we train
our students to be able to take advantage of those new
technologies [as well as] the new tactics that are being
developed up at [Naval Air Station] Fallon [Nev.] and
at the weapons schools to employ tactics like NIFC-CA
[naval integrated fire control-counter air] and others.
It’s a great challenge for us and an enjoyable one.
Are the helicopter pilots now the majority of
naval aviators trained by CNATRA?
BULL: Yes. There are two pilots in a helicopter’s cockpit, but, also, we’ve expanded our helicopter fleet.
About 51 percent of our student pilots are helicopter
pilots. With the littoral combat ship, we bought more
helicopters, which require more pilots. The MH- 60
Romeo and Sierra have brought new capabilities that
allow us to think a little bit differently about how we
fight the helicopter.
Are the training aircraft you have what you
need to prepare pilots for modern platforms
such as the F- 35, P- 8, E-2D and V- 22?
BULL: Yes. The short answer is: they are very effective.
A more complete answer is that it will always be a
challenge to keep up with new aircraft in the fleet and
the systems embedded in them. CNATRA uses the T- 45
Goshawk for strike training for both pilots and NFOs.
The Goshawk has a digital cockpit as well as the latest
in communications and navigational equipment. It
makes it an excellent training aircraft for the transition
to the advanced fighters that you mentioned earlier.
Our Virtual Mission Training System [VMTS] provides an air-to-air and air-to-ground radar presentation
for training our NFOs and we’re looking at installing
that system in our pilot training simulators as well. We
use the T-44C with the glass cockpit for multi-engine
training, which provides these students with an integrated flight management system, an enhanced ground
proximity warning system, a terrain awareness system,
weather radar, moving map, a traffic avoidance system,
along with an emergency standby system, UHF and
VHF radios, and a new intercom system.
This system is a perfect lead-in trainer for the digital
glass cockpits in the P- 8 Poseidon, the V- 22 Osprey,
the E-6B Mercury and the KC-130J Hercules. High-fidelity T- 44 visual simulators are completing a major
upgrade as well, which will enable more training to be
conducted in the simulators including introductions
to formation flying as well as low-altitude flying or
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2016
Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Dell Bull, left, is greeted by Capt.
Scott Bunnay, Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss., commanding officer, during a
Bureau of Naval Personnel site visit to Training Air Wing One Aug. 12.