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Synixman

Navy to National Guard IST

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Esteemed Helo Bubbas,

 

Navy Lieutenant and -60S pilot here getting close to the end of my winging service obligation, will be getting out and doing the airline thing. Considering an IST to the Guard to fly Hawks again and finish out my 20. I've been in contact with my state WOSM, and things sound promising as a "Rated" IST. I'm currently in the sandbox making powerpoints, so the in person stuff will likely have to wait until I get back stateside.

 

This might sound like an oddball question, but what's the Guard "Quality of Life" like? I get that most of the current fight is places sandy and warm, but are those deployments sourced from the Active side of the Army, Guard, or both? Is it state/unit/equipment dependent? Are there "good deal" EUCOM/PACOM deployments? Also, for a Guard deployment, does everyone go for the entire 6/9/12month period or do folks rotate through?

 

Hope those questions make sense. As I said, miss the Hawk, but part of my reasons for leaving AD Navy are year long stints away on a boat. Trying to find a better way to do good work but not have my dogs forget me.

 

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Some states deploy more than others, depends on how many full birds there are volunteering for deployments; dwell ratio for the reserve component is supposed to be 5:1. Army deployments generally mean you go for the whole 9 months, no rotations, and for reserve component it's closer to 12 with mob and de-mob. That's a very good question to ask potential units when they're interviewing you (and vice versa). Another good question is who flexible the command is for those who don't work a 9-5 schedule. I find split training (coming in during the week instead of the scheduled drill weekend) to be a very efficient use of both my time and the unit's. You'll want to live close to the airfield, as it's a significant time investment. Minimums will be just shy of 100 hours a year, though technically since you'll be out of town for work you can prorate your minimums down, which I encourage you to do.

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Some states deploy more than others, depends on how many full birds there are volunteering for deployments; dwell ratio for the reserve component is supposed to be 5:1. Army deployments generally mean you go for the whole 9 months, no rotations, and for reserve component it's closer to 12 with mob and de-mob. That's a very good question to ask potential units when they're interviewing you (and vice versa). Another good question is who flexible the command is for those who don't work a 9-5 schedule. I find split training (coming in during the week instead of the scheduled drill weekend) to be a very efficient use of both my time and the unit's. You'll want to live close to the airfield, as it's a significant time investment. Minimums will be just shy of 100 hours a year, though technically since you'll be out of town for work you can prorate your minimums down, which I encourage you to do.

 

Thanks for the insight. I had similar thoughts as far as visiting the local unit (~30-45mins away from my prospective home) once I'm back in the states. I expect to be junior at the airlines for a while, and that means working weekends with them and doing drills during the week. Hopefully they're amenable to that. The Navy reservists I knew who were the happiest were folks who lived near the unit. For them, drilling was relatively easy and they could be home by 1600 and sleep in their own bed. Deployments, I get it, I'd be on the hook for probably one Navy reserve deployment if I went that route, and I'd be making powerpoints again.

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Welcome to the dark side. I've been in the Florida Guard for 12 years now and deployed twice. The 5:1 ratio is about what I've experienced in this state. Just be careful with a plan that involves getting the majority of your flight time on drill weekends. With all of the other stuff required, flying is only a portion of what you do on weekends. And even if the unit flew all weekend, you'd have to share the time with EVERYONE else. As a FAC 1 aviator, you would need 48 hours every 6 months, 3 hours instrument, 9 hours NVG and 1 hour unaided night. Also 18 hours a year simulator, which for us is a drive from Jax up to Savannah. O battalion tends to frown on missing drill weekends, even if you make it up during the week. I'll be honest, when I was a company SP, airline guys were my biggest PITA. They fall short of making their minimums more often than not and are hard to schedule.

 

There are a few "good deal" deployments. Our LUH guys "deploy" to the US border. Our assault company in Brooksville deployed to Kosovo. Far and large deployments are to the sandbox. I've deployed as a single medevac company and as part of a ARNG CAB and Battalion. Occasionally, ARNG will deploy with active duty.

 

If you revert to warrant, you'll fly. If you stay as a regular commissioned officer, you may go to a staff job as FAC 2. It really depends on timing and current manning.

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Units may frown on missing drill weekends, but as long as you can get your weapons qual and PT test done, there's not much that can't be more easily done during the week than on drill weekends, especially flying, which is big for a part-timer. Most of my unit's training on weekends is individual level training which more easily done during the week. Unless your unit is doing legit collective training on the weekends, then drill is a waste of your time, especially if your spouse is home while you play Army.

 

If you're out of town because of your civilian job and aren't available to fly, then you can prorate your minimums down. Since I work a hitch schedule, that cuts my requirements down to a more reasonable ~50 hours a year, which I easily make. I got pretty tired of giving up all my free time; half of it doing the facility's job for them, the other half just flying for the sake of putting in the hours.

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Prorating, just for being out of town for civilian job and not available to fly? How? Under what authority?

 

TC 3-04.11

8-78. Reduce flying-hour minimums by 1 month for each 30-day period that the ACM was unable to fly. Days unable to fly, in different absence categories, may be added together for 30-day totals. Concurrent days will not be added together. An example of concurrent days would be if an ACM that is medically grounded for 30 days is sent TDY for 20 of those 30 days. Only 30 days could be prorated. At the end of the training period, add the total number of days the ACM was unable to fly the aircraft/simulator due to the following— 

-TDY or deployment to a location where the ACM is unable to fly. 

-Medical or nonmedical suspension from flight. 

-Grounding of aircraft by HQDA. 

-Leave/authorize/excused absence approved by the commander. 

-Aircraft non-availability due to movement to deployment, movement to redeployment, or aircraft preset/reset. Preset/reset requirements only apply if less than 50 percent of the unit’s aircraft are not available. This must be annotated on the DA Form 7122 and should coincide with the brigade commander’s “start training date” required by AR 95-1.

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If it's temporary duty for a civilian job it isn't TDY. Saying so is a bit of a stretch. But if it gets you through an ARMs with DES, who cares?

 

FWIW, we do little individual training on drill weekends. Most is collective training, hence the aversion to missing drills.

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Appreciate the comments. The Guard/Reserve side of the house is a new construct to me, so still learning the lingo. Drill weekends are what? Once a month? And known in advance? So I could bid my airline schedule around those nominally, then also do AFTPs on spots when I'm free. Again, this all hinges on the unit being 30mins from my planned residence.

 

Are there chances to do shorter sets of orders, 2-4 weeks? Or is everything under the drills and two weeks AT?

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AFTPs: You get paid for one day per AFTPs. Our state allows two AFTPs in a single day if you live outside 50 miles from the facility. That requirement goes away sometimes, depending on the current budget situation. We require you to average 1.5 hours per flight AFTP, although no one really checks, unless you do a lot of AFTPs but still fail to meet your minimums.

 

Drill Weekends: Once a month usually. We are trying back-to-back drill weekends (ish). Thursday-Sunday with the first two days being the last two days of the previous month and the last two days of drill being the first two days of the next month. We will have two months between drills, but have four day drills. The drill and AT schedule is published for the whole FY at the end of September. It is full of events like individual weapons qual, Bambi Bucket training, safety stand downs, holiday gatherings, ACT-E, PHA, etc... We do about 60% collective training and 40% individual training (mostly RL progressions and some annual check rides) on drill weekends. AT is about 80% collective and 20% individual training. We just finished XCTC in August. It was 3 weeks in Mississippi and 90% collective training. Next year will likely be JRTC with 110% collective training.

 

We do two week orders for guys coming out of flight school. Recently we had a former active duty IP come in for one week orders to RL progress as an IP. Otherwise it is somewhat rare to come in on orders to fly.

 

Each state is slightly different, and even within a state, timing and budget can change policy at the drop of a hat.

 

If you end up in FL or GA, I know most of the 60 guard guys. I can hook you up. It would be great to have another Naval Aviator around.

Edited by Rob Lyman

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