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Information about getting into ANG as a helicopter pilot


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Hi,

 

I feel like my eyes are going to dry up and crumple after spending the whole day reading about this haha. Yet, some things still aren't clear.

 

I am putting together an application for the Army WOFT. I have noticed that there are opportunities to be a rotary wing pilot in the Air National Guard. The ANG allows you to fly part time and simultaneously hold down a civilian job. While both branches are excellent, the ANG structure is slightly more appealing because I would get to utilize my degree and keep my clinical licensure current. Hence, I am looking for info on how to get in.

 

After reading these forums it appears that in order to fly for the ANG like I would like to do, you technically need to enlist first before they pick you up and give you helicopter training. Some people on this site are talking about getting screwed out of the training program and they end up getting deployed overseas because they didn't get any kind of contract guaranteeing them a pilot slot after enlisting. Similarly, I guess some members here had it work out great by going this route. Does it depend on the state or do you need to enlist first?

 

Another thing I am having trouble understanding is exactly how difficult it is to get a pilot slot in the ANG and how the process works. I read that some people applied for these positions after many years of helo time in another branch, while maybe a few people get picked up off the street. Which is correct? Is it possible to get a pilot slot in the ANG if your a civilian with no prior military helo time?

 

About the process, I am reading that the ANG has the same exact WOFT process as the army. You drop similar packets to both branches and, if accepted, you get sent to boot camp/wocs/flight school. If you do this through the ANG, do they really allow you to be a part-time helo pilot after all that training? I'm skeptical because it seems like after all that training they would want you to fly you butt off and not let you do 2 days per month. Or am I wrong about this process?

 

Lastly, regarding the ANG, I'm reading that you are not necessarily applying to the entire branch but instead to individual units throughout the country. Whereas in the Army you are applying to the branch as a whole. So is this why people are giving advice that with the ANG you have to get your foot in the door by hanging out around the base and getting to know the current guys in that unit?

 

I am 23 years old and will be getting my bachelors from a good school in May, 2013. I currently have an A.S. degree, am a certified EMT, 3.5 GPA, lots of work history, no criminal record, and all my personal finances are in order.

 

-Droz

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You can fly helos in the ANG, but I'm pretty sure there's only about three units that have them. Most ANG units are fixed wing.

It's possible to get picked up by an ANG unit without enlisting, but some units only hire from the inside and being enlisted in the unit first usually helps. Getting an ANG spot is extremely competitive as well.

Both the ANG/AF and ARNG/Army have similar application processes. The AF has the AFOQT and another eye/hand coordination test instead of the AFAST. After selection you go to OTS then UPT for flight school.

From what I've read the ANG/ARNG fly way more than just two days a month just to stay current.

I think you're confused about Active Duty, and National Guard. Both the Army and the Air Force have AD (full time), and National Guard ("part time"), not just the AF. In both branches when you apply to a NG unit you're applying to a specific unit, and will fly whatever aircraft that unit flies.

Edited by Hallsy
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Awesome Hallsy,

 

Got that site bookmarked. It's confusing right now when reading about the ANG and ARNG but i'll read into it till it makes sense. The flying 2 days/month is for the part time guys which I thought most of the NG guys fell into that category. If anyone has some more info please pitch in but i'll be doing more research in the meantime.

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Yeah they're definitely flying more than 2 days per month. My friend got a little over 30 hours last month flying 60s in the Guard. It's been a year since he graduated flight school and he has over 300 hours in Hawks now and all sorts of cool trips around the US ferrying aircraft and doing training.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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The WOFT program does not technically exist for the national guard as it does for the Active component. From time to time, I've heard of units cutting deals (I really don't understand how they can be so hard up for applicants that they have to do so, but...) where they'll guarantee a guy a slot off the street, but it's rare... I've only actually met one person who says he did it.

 

As far as flying time in the guard... oh, boy.

 

My unit (last I knew) gets 72 AFTPs (Additional flight training period) per year (for pilots, but...we don't need to worry about the other guys here). So, that leaves you with a little more than one per week that you can do, or (depending on your work schedule, etc) about 3 weeks out of every month, you can do a dual. (See the other thread by the prior service guy for how they work).

 

As far as how much time you have to take off of work to do all this, it depends on sooooo many factors. How far away is your flight facility from home? from work? what's your work schedule look like? Is the facility open for that "3rd period" often, if you work a 9-5? Pre deployment we were open I think every other week for the goggle period. Post deployment, it was one day per week.

 

How much flight time you can get depends on a number of things. What's the budget look like? Is it end of the fiscal year (ie August/September) and the fuel budget is gone? If so, you're not getting gas anywhere but at home, or your home state's facilities. Are you being a "guard bum"? I haven't worked a "real" job in almost 7 years, with the exception of the first five months I got back from flight school, before they started putting me on orders, temp tech, deployments, TDYs, etc.

 

When I DID have an outside job, it was a pain, and I lived CLOSE to both work, and the facility. (I actually was driving through the base, past the facility, and out the other gate to get to work a few miles away. It was a pretty good setup.) With that, I was in a job that I simply could not take days off to go fly. I was in a small department, and had to be there. So...I changed departments. HA. But that 2/3 months I was unable to fly except for a few night periods/weekends hurt. I wasn't progressing, and was barely staying at the same proficiency level. When I was able to take days off for flying, it ended up turning into a once a week thing. One day per week I took off, without pay, and went to the facility instead, for a dual AFTP.

 

Hopefully this helped answer some of your questions...

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Charyou tree,

 

Yes that certainly did! Thank you for providing that information. Would you share how you got into your guard unit? Did you have a prior military backround? Any guys in your unit you got in off the streat?

 

-Droz

Edited by droz88
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Charyou tree,

 

Yes that certainly did! Thank you for providing that information. Would you share how you got into your guard unit? Did you have a prior military backround? Any guys in your unit you got in off the streat?

 

-Droz

 

I got into my guard unit back in '03, enlisted as an Avionics Mechanic (15N), with no prior service. (Unless you count my DEP in the USAF which I pulled out of about a year previous, prior to going to basic, or anything.) Started the packet process, including PRK; got interrupted by a deployment, working as a mech, and part time door gunner. Came home, and went to candidate/flight school a few months later.

 

 

Just in case there is some confusion; you can enlist into a guard unit. They have their own recruiters and everything. You can't** go street to seat, however.

 

**Exceptions being one guy I know personally, who did it. I've only heard rumors of other guys having done it.

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I knew a guy in flight school that had enlisted in the guard on a fast track to a pilot's seat. He went to basic and AIT, and upon graduating AIT went straight to WOCS.

But he went to AIT... He was promised a slot, basically, and AIT was a backup. I know ONE person, who went Street, Guard, Basic, WOCS. The state must have somehow been hard up for qualified applicants...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Technically, there is no street to seat in the Army National Guard (ARNG). If you can get a unit to enlist you and then guarantee you a flight school slot, that is a rare and almost unheard of event.

 

IF you come from another service with flight time from that service, you can get a guaranteed flight slot. I came from the Navy with Seahawk experince and went right into a pilot slot. I reverted to CW2, but that is not necessary unless you want to fly a lot. You will skip flight school but will have to go to AQC for your aircraft, even if you have 1400 hrs in the other service's equivalent.

 

Part time, I was able to get a little flexibility in my work schedule to come in a little late during the summer, work late, then go to the facility to fly nights. In the winter time with sunset coming earlier, I was able to work normal hours and fly after work. I always tried to get on the schedule once a week. With conflicts, I usually ended up flying every other week. That is enough for a 1000+ hr pilot to RL progress slowly, meet minimums and just barely stay proficient.

 

After taking nearly a year off my civilian job to go to 60A/L AQC and MTP, 60M transition and 60M MTP, I picked up a full time job at the facility as an MTP. This was all about timing and being in the right place at the right time. FWIW, always try to get to as many schools as possible. It will allow you to capitalize on last minute job openings. For instance, I was the only qualified candidate when one MTP went med down and the other quit to go to another state.

 

As a full time MTP I get about 200-250 hrs per year. The year before I left on deployment I maxed out my 72 AFTPs.

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