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Transitioning to Fighters In Guard/Reserve

Old 02-01-2022, 08:38 PM
  #21  
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Good to know itís not impossible. I guess if I really want to make it happen then Iíll need to do it through the guard/reserve and will need to really be determined. Iím sure there will be lots of ďnoĒs, but with the way the airlines are hiring and if things heat up in the world and a need is there, something could potentially happen.

Outside of bombers, is there any heavy that might translate better towards the fighter world? AC-130J? C-130?
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Old 02-02-2022, 07:50 AM
  #22  
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It is absolutely possible to go from heavies to fighters. The RW transition is possible as well, but a different discussion than what the OP wanted. Our squadron did both with multiple people. Results were mixed. The older and more senior folks generally did worse. Going through IFF and 38s already a rated guy is not easy. You need to **** and drink the Kool aid as painful as that will be. You need to think of it as starting over again, because that's what it is. As a major it is really hard to come in as a wingman and learn a whole new skill set.

It seemed to me that this was way easier to do in the guard being a state organization. Hiring an 03 to junior O4 isn't hard. The manning documents are full of those positions. The most important thing is to find a unit that will hire you. When I called the shots, I was very reluctant to hire from this pool. There is a lot of baggage hiring people like this. I still did it, but you have to have very clear expectations for training and progression. Fighters is a very time heavy commitment for a new guy. Someone has to be willing to swallow some pride and put in the work to survive and be a killer. BL, possible, but fraught with peril for both sides.
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Old 02-02-2022, 10:13 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by pony172 View Post
It is absolutely possible to go from heavies to fighters. The RW transition is possible as well, but a different discussion than what the OP wanted. Our squadron did both with multiple people. Results were mixed. The older and more senior folks generally did worse. Going through IFF and 38s already a rated guy is not easy. You need to **** and drink the Kool aid as painful as that will be. You need to think of it as starting over again, because that's what it is. As a major it is really hard to come in as a wingman and learn a whole new skill set.

It seemed to me that this was way easier to do in the guard being a state organization. Hiring an 03 to junior O4 isn't hard. The manning documents are full of those positions. The most important thing is to find a unit that will hire you. When I called the shots, I was very reluctant to hire from this pool. There is a lot of baggage hiring people like this. I still did it, but you have to have very clear expectations for training and progression. Fighters is a very time heavy commitment for a new guy. Someone has to be willing to swallow some pride and put in the work to survive and be a killer. BL, possible, but fraught with peril for both sides.

Right now Iím a 2nd LT. Iím thinking if I could maybe make this transition while Iím a young Captain it might be the best bet. If it were to happen for me in the next couple of years, I would still be under 30 or right at it. Do it while Iím still young and in the mindset of being ready to learn/start all over again. I appreciate your input and advice.
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Old 02-02-2022, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly4FunAA View Post
Good to know itís not impossible. I guess if I really want to make it happen then Iíll need to do it through the guard/reserve and will need to really be determined. Iím sure there will be lots of ďnoĒs, but with the way the airlines are hiring and if things heat up in the world and a need is there, something could potentially happen.

Outside of bombers, is there any heavy that might translate better towards the fighter world? AC-130J? C-130?
None that I can think of, other than maybe flying the AC-130 in an operational environment under AFSOC/SOCOM, but even that is a stretch. If you want to fly commercially/121 eventually though, the C-40 and P-8 are great.
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Old 02-03-2022, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by paulcg77 View Post
None that I can think of, other than maybe flying the AC-130 in an operational environment under AFSOC/SOCOM, but even that is a stretch. If you want to fly commercially/121 eventually though, the C-40 and P-8 are great.
Currently Iím on the HC-130. Good to keep in mind
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Old 02-04-2022, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Seven6SevenDCA View Post
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.
Iím pretty sure the A-7 guy flew the -38 in UPT. Probably the F-15E, too.
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Old 02-04-2022, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by galaxy flyer View Post
Iím pretty sure the A-7 guy flew the -38 in UPT. Probably the F-15E, too.
The transition to the heavy or fighter/bomber tracks in UPT pretty much killed guys going from heavies to fighters. There have been some cross flow boards since then, but they targeted the guys who went heavies out of 38s due to a lack of fighter pipeline spots. The AF has decided that setting up a special course just to convert heavy pilots into IFF grads is cost prohibitive due to the limited time to recoup the investment. Iíve heard rumblings that the T-1 may be retired and a single track system reestablished. That would return a great deal of flexibility to how we manage pilots. However, the USAF is very good at never missing a chance to miss a chance.
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Old 02-04-2022, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tnkrdrvr View Post
The transition to the heavy or fighter/bomber tracks in UPT pretty much killed guys going from heavies to fighters. There have been some cross flow boards since then, but they targeted the guys who went heavies out of 38s due to a lack of fighter pipeline spots. The AF has decided that setting up a special course just to convert heavy pilots into IFF grads is cost prohibitive due to the limited time to recoup the investment. Iíve heard rumblings that the T-1 may be retired and a single track system reestablished. That would return a great deal of flexibility to how we manage pilots. However, the USAF is very good at never missing a chance to miss a chance.
If the AF is experimenting with putting RW guys through an Army-style pure helo UPT at Rucker with no FW turbine time in primary and this becomes a thing, it'll remove more potential FW crossovers from the equation. Hoping the sea services do not go this route.
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Old 02-04-2022, 03:25 PM
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AFRC, at a time, encourages units to send Army RW pilots thru UPT. I sent 3 or 4, including one from a USAF HH-60 unit. They did well, just took time.
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Old 02-04-2022, 10:10 PM
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Yeah thereís a lot of rumors going around about removing the T-1. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens.
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