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Best assignments you’ve had


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I am interested in hearing about some of your career experiences

 

Where were you stationed

What did you fly

How was the culture/ day to day life

What made it good for you

Any cool TDY/missions you can talk about

 

For those of you wrapping up your careers soon separating/retiring is there anything you wish you did differently or something you wish you had the opportunity to do?

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Where were you stationed: Fort Irwin, CA

What did you fly: OH-58C
How was the culture/ day to day life: The closest I ever came in the Army to just being a pilot. Not a place I would recommend for a new pilot though.
What made it good for you: Small detachment, minimal additional duties, great flying area, and almost as much flying as I wanted. Lots of solo flying even at night. Aside from the occasional O/C duties I was home every day.
Any cool TDY/missions you can talk about: Not really from NTC. When it comes to TDY and cool missions that goes to what I did as a 58D pilot.

 

NTC was my best assignment. My favorite time in the Army was my 58D unit's 9 month Korea rotation, but that's mostly because of the people I was with. I did really enjoy going up to MPRC (gunnery range) and the training we did up there. Got to get away from the flag pole a little bit I guess.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Where were you stationed: Fort Irwin, CA

What did you fly: OH-58C

How was the culture/ day to day life: The closest I ever came in the Army to just being a pilot. Not a place I would recommend for a new pilot though.

What made it good for you: Small detachment, minimal additional duties, great flying area, and almost as much flying as I wanted. Lots of solo flying even at night. Aside from the occasional O/C duties I was home every day.

Any cool TDY/missions you can talk about: Not really from NTC. When it comes to TDY and cool missions that goes to what I did as a 58D pilot.

 

NTC was my best assignment. My favorite time in the Army was my 58D unit's 9 month Korea rotation, but that's mostly because of the people I was with. I did really enjoy going up to MPRC (gunnery range) and the training we did up there. Got to get away from the flag pole a little bit I guess.

What makes NTC a bad place as a new pilot?

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While crewing -60s out of Ft. Campbell from 2004-2010, I got a 3 month TDY down to the Bahamas to support OPBAT (Operation Bahamas, Turks, and Caicos) to assist the U.S. Coast Guard and Bahamian government in helping to combat the drug smuggling in and around the Caribbean Islands.

 

Quite possibly the best 3 months of my 6 1/2 year military enlistment. It was like a paid vacation. Had our own compound with 3 Blackhawk helicopters, company vehicles, and even company boats. Fairly nice housing with our own rooms, shared bathrooms, sizable kitchen and lounge/living room. Usually flew around 3 hours a day and then we'd go lobster fishing in the afternoon. Use to take our company boat to a beach bar called Chat N Chill to get a burger, fries, and a local brew Kalik for $5.50. Damn that was FUN!

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What makes NTC a bad place as a new pilot?

 

 

For a couple reasons.

 

You'll be missing out on all the institutional knowledge you could be picking up on in a line unit. As a new pilot qualified in an advanced airframe your priority should be learning everything you can about that aircraft and mission. Flying an OH-58 chasing Apaches around is not the place to do that. There are great learning opportunities for you as an OC after you have experience, but as a new aviator most of them would be wasted.

 

The flying environment is very challenging. Wind, mountains, desert, red illumination, rotational unit aircraft everywhere, complicated airspace and live fire operations. Even for experienced pilots it can be a challenge to operate safely. There are some exceptions to the rule, but personally I was glad to have some experience prior to flying there.

 

Third, you're only flying at Fort Irwin. There's no deploying, there's no rotations, there's no TDY. The best times I had in the Army were when we were gone from home. It sounds ass backwards and I certainly hate leaving my family, but that's the job.

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While crewing -60s out of Ft. Campbell from 2004-2010, I got a 3 month TDY down to the Bahamas to support OPBAT (Operation Bahamas, Turks, and Caicos) to assist the U.S. Coast Guard and Bahamian government in helping to combat the drug smuggling in and around the Caribbean Islands.

 

Quite possibly the best 3 months of my 6 1/2 year military enlistment. It was like a paid vacation. Had our own compound with 3 Blackhawk helicopters, company vehicles, and even company boats. Fairly nice housing with our own rooms, shared bathrooms, sizable kitchen and lounge/living room. Usually flew around 3 hours a day and then we'd go lobster fishing in the afternoon. Use to take our company boat to a beach bar called Chat N Chill to get a burger, fries, and a local brew Kalik for $5.50. Damn that was FUN!

 

 

That's why you want to fly helos in the USCG once they start getting paid. Stationed along the coasts of America. Very few unattractive locations compared to the Army.

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