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Transitioning to Fighters In Guard/Reserve

Old 01-30-2022, 06:29 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Helo to fighters would be very hard, I'd guess a bridge too far.

Army helo to fighters would be even harder... Army does not do the FW UPT phase that USAF and sea service helo pilots get.
I’m actually a FW heavy pilot wondering about transitioning to FW Fighters. Glad to hear it could be possible for even RW to FW
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Old 01-30-2022, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by paulcg77 View Post
Yeah, I assumed if he was Army RW he'd have to repeat UPT. If he's an Army CW3 with a few years of rated 60 time and he gets out completely and applies for a job in an air guard unit, I assume it would be totally possible for him to get picked up, go to UPT as an O1 or O1E depending on his background, and then fly fighters. I think if he's young enough and has good FITREP/OER's and a proven record of getting through previous military training as a rated aviator and finds an air guard unit that likes him and he's willing to potentially start over (depending on his background), as you said, the sky is the limit.
In that case he's basically an off-the-street guard baby who has some really good previous relevant experience.

If you're an O3/O4, getting a transition at the same or similar paygrade would probably be near impossible. IIRC HYT limits are cumulative across all federal services, although that may not apply to the guard? So a 12-year O4 might only have eight years available to train and serve on the new platform before facing up or out... and it might be hard to compete for O5 while flying as a wingman when your competitors are dept head, XO, det OIC, etc.
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:48 AM
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Many, many years ago my UPT class had an Army O-3 helo guy transfer in grade to the USAF, and go thru the full UPT course. He got an F-4.

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Old 01-31-2022, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Fly4FunAA View Post
I’m actually a FW heavy pilot wondering about transitioning to FW Fighters. Glad to hear it could be possible for even RW to FW
Did you go thru the T-1 track? If so, probably not happening, too many qualified guys.
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Old 01-31-2022, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
In that case he's basically an off-the-street guard baby who has some really good previous relevant experience.

If you're an O3/O4, getting a transition at the same or similar paygrade would probably be near impossible. IIRC HYT limits are cumulative across all federal services, although that may not apply to the guard? So a 12-year O4 might only have eight years available to train and serve on the new platform before facing up or out... and it might be hard to compete for O5 while flying as a wingman when your competitors are dept head, XO, det OIC, etc.
Yeah, I agree, and I didn't say anywhere that an O4 had any chance at all of either a lateral transfer or a RW to FW transition within branch. I said O3 earlier because I saw it happen with an O3 going RW to FW (in branch) but he was relatively junior and had about a year TIG and about 5 years total commissioned time when he went back to transition. When he went directly to Corpus for intermediate/advanced he was about a year senior in date of rank to the JO's who do their first tour u/w in the fleet then apply for flight school as senior O2's and get winged as first or second year O3's. I remember a few of those when I went through too. Never even heard of an O4 or higher doing it, but that's why I mentioned O3. It definitely also depends on your branch. In the CG, right when I was going in and again a few years ago after I was long gone, they were in a situation where they didn't train enough FW aviators or had an imbalance for whatever reason and offered a few slots for RW aviators to transition. The guys who did it still had to go back and do intermediate and advanced multi-engine on the pegasus but they were already winged aviators and they got to skip primary, obviously. I haven't seen this happen to my knowledge in the navy though the navy also has a much larger pilot intake and can compensate for pipeline/operational imbalances much more efficiently. We also had warrant officers flying E2's off carriers when I first came into the navy and that's long over, so things do change.

About your other point, I don't know about USAF RW training but I think Army RW bros do almost everything on helos in flight school and don't get FW turbine time in primary like we all do regardless of pipeline, so I assume they'd basically be re-starting. With that said, I think if they're a rated RW aviator already, they'll have a huge leg up in UPT and they'll be a more competitive candidate than off the street civilians with a PPL or less because they've already demonstrated they can successfully get through the abbreviated firehose nature of a highly structured/disciplined military flight school.
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Old 01-31-2022, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by paulcg77 View Post
Yeah, I agree, and I didn't say anywhere that an O4 had any chance at all of either a lateral transfer or a RW to FW transition within branch. I said O3 earlier because I saw it happen with an O3 going RW to FW (in branch) but he was relatively junior and had about a year TIG and about 5 years total commissioned time when he went back to transition.
That kind of thing is more likely possible on AD, for several reasons, one of which is being early in career progression. Most reserve/guard people are at least senior O3 or O4, that's what I was referring to.

Originally Posted by paulcg77 View Post
About your other point, I don't know about USAF RW training but I think Army RW bros do almost everything on helos in flight school and don't get FW turbine time in primary like we all do regardless of pipeline, so I assume they'd basically be re-starting. With that said, I think if they're a rated RW aviator already, they'll have a huge leg up in UPT and they'll be a more competitive candidate than off the street civilians with a PPL or less because they've already demonstrated they can successfully get through the abbreviated firehose nature of a highly structured/disciplined military flight school.
Like sea services, USAF does FW UPT first then tracks RW. I heard they're actually experimenting with the Army model (at Rucker even), but for purposes of this discussion today they all have FW UPT.

I agree that a RW mil aviator would make a great guard baby candidate, if it's not in the cards to skip UPT.
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Old 01-31-2022, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by galaxy flyer View Post
Did you go thru the T-1 track? If so, probably not happening, too many qualified guys.
Yeah T-1 track, tho I did get my wings in the T-6 with the new 2.5 program. Even guys who are going 38s now get wings in T-6s so not sure how that will change things.

In most cases, is it just too expensive to train a T-1 guy to transition to fighters? I’ve heard of some guard/reserve units making exceptions in a few cases to hire a heavy guy and transition him to fighters. What about T-1 to bombers?
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Old 02-01-2022, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fly4FunAA View Post
Yeah T-1 track, tho I did get my wings in the T-6 with the new 2.5 program. Even guys who are going 38s now get wings in T-6s so not sure how that will change things.

In most cases, is it just too expensive to train a T-1 guy to transition to fighters? I’ve heard of some guard/reserve units making exceptions in a few cases to hire a heavy guy and transition him to fighters. What about T-1 to bombers?
The “easiest” way to transition from the heavy track to fighters is to fly the U2 or B2. They both have the 38 as a companion trainer. Get checked out as a 38 IP and then start applying to guard fighter units. You will still have to go through IFF and a qualification course, which will hurt your competitiveness. If the airlines continue to hire at a record pace, some guard fighter units will struggle with manning due to the higher time commitment required to stay current in a fighter.
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Old 02-01-2022, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tnkrdrvr View Post
The “easiest” way to transition from the heavy track to fighters is to fly the U2 or B2. They both have the 38 as a companion trainer. Get checked out as a 38 IP and then start applying to guard fighter units. You will still have to go through IFF and a qualification course, which will hurt your competitiveness. If the airlines continue to hire at a record pace, some guard fighter units will struggle with manning due to the higher time commitment required to stay current in a fighter.
This^^^ Since the T-1 came on in the early 90’s, this has been really the only time that I have seen someone go that direction on AD. Guard/AFRES… who knows. Find the right unit and they might let you do anything, but you’d probably need some kind of hook to make that happen.
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Old 02-01-2022, 07:35 PM
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Know one fella - went from C-21 to F15E.

Another transitioned from C141 to A7 (USAF Reserve / ANG)

Of course quite a few go the opposite direction after leaving Active Duty.
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