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Training Air Wing 5


Training Air Wing 5 (TRAWING 5) consists of the commander, his staff and six training squadrons. The primary mission of TRAWING 5 is to administer, coordinate and supervise the flight and academic training and support of Student Naval Aviators (SNAs) and flight students of allied nations as directed by the CNATRA. U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard instructors and students are assigned to TRAWING 5 and its squadrons. The TRAWING 5 staff implements the CNATRA-approved flight and academic syllabus, oversees the flight instructor standardization training program, coordinates squadron student load and assignments, oversees student production within the wing and monitors aircraft maintenance activities.


It is a course unlike any other. Naval Flight Training is filled with constant challenges and is designed to test an individual’s stamina and ability to adapt to the flying environment. Every aspect of the training program has a purpose based on an understanding of what the flying environment may hold. The military aviator must know and master all the elements that will be encountered in combat. Mastery of the flying environment requires unceasing commitment and self-discipline. The school is about a dream, a vision of flight and a desire to wear the coveted “wings of gold.” After completing aviation indoctrination at Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, the next step is Primary Flight Training Ground School at NAS Whiting Field.


Ground School, conducted by the Academic Training Department of TRAWING 5, provides the core of knowledge upon which all simulator and aircraft instruction is based. Ground School consists of four weeks of intensive academic instruction in the fundamentals of the T-6B, including aircraft systems, aviation physiology, aircraft preflight inspection, aircraft egress and bailout, crew resource management, safety and emergency procedures. Before SNAs get into a plane, they practice engine startup, takeoff, landing, engine shutdown and the basics of radio communication in a simulator or training device. Immediately following completion of Primary Ground School, students begin the flight phase of training.

Primary Flight Training

Primary Flight Training is conducted at Whiting Field under the direction of TRAWING 5 at one of three primary squadrons: Training squadrons 2 (VT-2), 3 (VT-3) or 6 (VT-6). Student aviators complete a rigorous curriculum of primary flight instruction lasting 24 weeks in the T-6B Texan II trainer aircraft. This instruction provides a combination of actual and simulated flight experience for SNAs. With the exception of solo flights, all actual flights of the T-6B are conducted under the experienced eye of an instructor pilot, a designated military aviator. The first stage, contact or familiarization, consists of 13 flights in which the student learns to conduct a proper preflight inspection of the aircraft, techniques for takeoff and landing, basic air-work, radio communications, emergency procedures, spins and stall recoveries. During the basic instrument stage, the SNA learns how to control the aircraft by sole usage of the cockpit instrument panel. The student will begin instrument flying in a high-tech flight simulator and then take techniques learned to the aircraft. Precision aerobatics and formation flying are confidence builders and are considered by some to be the most enjoyable flights in primary. These flights further familiarize the student with the strengths and limitations of the aircraft and refine the student’s flying abilities. Students then go on to learn the basics of radio instruments. In this stage of the flight training, SNAs learn airways navigation and instrument approaches. It is during this stage that SNAs acquire the fundamental knowledge that will make them “all-weather” pilots. In the last phase of primary flight training, the student will exercise their newly acquired abilities to conduct visual flight rules and instrument flights operations. Once a student has completed primary, they will select one of the advanced pipelines in which they will continue their flight training in their quest to earn their “wings of gold.”

Pipeline Selection

After completing primary training, the student is selected for advanced training in jet, multi-engine, tilt-rotor or helicopter pipelines. Selection is based on three factors: the needs of the service, flight and academic grades, and the individual’s preference. Students selected for the helicopter or tilt-rotor pipelines remain at Whiting Field for advanced training. Advanced rotary students will receive their “wings of gold” at Whiting Field, while tilt-rotor students will receive their “wings of gold” following completion of multi-engine training at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.

Helicopter Training

Students selected for the helicopter pipeline receive ground training and instruction in TH-57B/C Sea Ranger systems, helicopter aerodynamics and instrument navigation. Advanced flight training is conducted by Helicopter Training squadrons 8 (HT-8), 18 (HT-18) and 28 (HT-28). Additional synthetic flight support training is conducted in the helicopter cockpit procedures trainer. The familiarization stage consists of 15 flights, including one solo flight. After mastering such skills as hovering and auto-rotation, the SNA advances to the fully instrumented TH-57C to refine his or her instrument flying ability. The full-motion helicopter flight simulator is used in this stage. Finally, the student aviator reaches the helicopter tactics stage where they learn the fundamentals of formation flying, low-level navigation, search and rescue, and night vision goggle flight. The long hours of study, practice and evaluation pay off when another military aviator receives their coveted “wings of gold” and reports to a fleet replacement squadron and ultimately to a fleet squadron as a combat-ready helicopter pilot.

Training Squadron Two (VT-2) “Doer Birds”


Training Squadron Two (VT-2), the Navy’s oldest primary training squadron, was formed as part of Basic Training Group 2 and commissioned May 1, 1960, at Naval Air Station Whiting Field. The squadron’s mission is to provide primary stage flight training to student aviators of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard and several allied nations. VT-2 is fully committed to providing every advanced training pipeline with the highest-caliber student aviators possible while striving to mentor the professional development and achievement of all personnel assigned.

VT-2 consistently sets the bar for dedication to mission and safety. VT-2’s safety record has been recognized through several safety awards through the years to include most recently being awarded the CNO Safety Award for calendar year 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Additionally, over 250 VT-2 primary flight students graduated in fiscal year 2014 — the highest number of primary flight training graduates since the end of the Cold War and nearly 50 more than VT-2’s running yearly average of 210 primary graduates. VT-2 on average logs nearly 1,800 flight hours each month, has flown in excess of 1,840,000 total flight hours and trained more than 19,500 students since its commissioning. VT-2 commanding officers normally alternate between Navy and Coast Guard officers.

Training Squadron Three (VT-3) “Red Knights”


While Training Squadron Three’s (VT-3) roots extend as far back as World War II, its current commission began May 1, 1960, at NAS Whiting Field. The squadron’s primary mission at that time was the instruction of student naval aviators in radio instruments, formation flying and air-to-air gunnery. At the height of the Vietnam War, the command reached a peak in size and consisted of 174 instructors, 494 students, 649 enlisted personnel and 162 T-28 aircraft. In April 1977, VT-3 began the transition from the T-28 Trojan to the T-34C Turbo Mentor aircraft. In 1980, the Red Knights became the only Navy primary fixed-wing training squadron to be alternately commanded by a Navy and Marine Corps officer. In 1994, VT-3 was designated as the first and only Navy joint primary flight training squadron, instructing both student naval aviators and Air Force pilots. The era of joint Navy-Air Force pilot training came to an end in July 2013 when an Air Force student pilot landed his final flight. In 2010, VT-3 was the first at NAS Whiting Field to transition from the T-34C to the Hawker Beechcraft T-6B Texan II. With this new advanced Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, the VT-3 Red Knights continue to provide the highest-quality training to student naval aviators and pilots from the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and several allied nations. Current instruction includes emphasis on day and night piloting familiarization, precision aerobatics, basic and radio instruments, and formation flying skills. VT-3 commanding officers normally are Navy officers.

Training Squadron Six (VT-6) “Shooters”


Training Squadron Six (VT-6) was first commissioned in May 1960 as the first phase of advanced training for students completing primary training designated for helicopter training. The squadron flew TC-45J (SNB) aircraft with the mission of providing Navy, Marine Corps and international students initial qualification in basic and radio instruments prior to entering helicopter training. As the needs of naval aviation training changed over the years, VT-6 became an initial flight training squadron, which it remains today. VT-6 alternates Navy and Marine Corps commanding officers.

Helicopter Training Squadron 8 (HT-8) “Eightballers”


Helicopter Training Squadron Eight (HT-8), the Navy’s oldest helicopter squadron, provides primary and advanced helicopter training for Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and allied student aviators selected for rotary-wing designation. The squadron was initially established as Helicopter Training Unit 1 on Dec. 3, 1950, at NAS Ellyson Field in Pensacola, Florida. The squadron was re-designated Helicopter Training Group 1 in March 1957. In July 1960, it became the eighth squadron in the Naval Air Basic Training Command and was renamed Helicopter Training Squadron 8. In 1972, the squadron moved to South Whiting Field and was divided into two squadrons: HT-8 and HT-18.

Helicopter Training Squadron 18 (HT-18) “Vigilant Eagles”


Helicopter Training Squadron 18 (HT-18), established in 1972, continues its in-depth training of student naval aviators, graduating professional naval officers and aviators who are “fleet-ready” and able to meet today’s real-world missions for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

The squadron also provides rotary-wing training and designation to selected members of various allied nations, refresher and transition training to fleet aviators, intermediate Marine tilt-rotor pilot training, and indoctrination flights for midshipmen and flight surgeons.

HT-18’s primary mission is to transition student aviators through basic and advanced rotary-wing pilot training. Basic training introduces and develops student skills in helicopter flight maneuvers as well as training in visual navigation and tactics. Advanced training completes an intensive curriculum of basic and radio instruments, advanced tactics and shipboard landings. The completion of this exacting training syllabus culminates in a highly trained and proficient all-weather aviator.

Helicopter Training Squadron 28 (HT-28) “Hellions”


Helicopter Training Squadron 28 (HT-28), established May 25, 2007, is the newest addition to naval aviation helicopter training squadrons. HT-28’s primary mission is to transition student aviators through basic and advanced rotary-wing pilot training. Basic training introduces and develops student skills in helicopter flight maneuvers as well as training in visual navigation and tactics. Advanced training completes an intensive curriculum of basic and radio instruments, advanced tactics and shipboard landings. The completion of this exacting training syllabus culminates in a highly trained and proficient all-weather aviator. HT-28, along with its sister squadrons, HT-8 and HT-18, provides advanced helicopter flight instruction to all U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard helicopter flight students as well as international students from several allied nations.

Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Detachment, Whiting Field

The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Detachment (CNATT DET, Whiting Field) is comprised of two military training units (MTUs) encompassing seven courses ranging from two to nine weeks in length. The areas of study include three levels of instruction for the Ordnance University (MTU-6005), and four courses of instruction for the Aviation Maintenance Training Unit (MTU-6010) that include the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program (NAMP) Indoctrination and Management courses, Advanced Aviation Maintenance Manager (A2M2) Course facilitated online via NKO, and the Prospective Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Duty Officer (PAIMDO) course. CNATT DET, Whiting Field students check in at the administration office, located in Building 2945, aboard NAS Whiting Field.

Aviation Maintenance Officer School (MTU-6010)

The Aviation Maintenance Officer School provides training to newly commissioned or designated aviation ground officers (Navy 1520/1525/1527/63XX/73XX and Marine Corps 6002/6004/6302) who are prospective members of intermediate or organizational maintenance activities. Training is provided to prepare students to perform in aviation maintenance leadership positions in various fleet aviation units. The school is divided into four separate courses of instruction with two resident courses conducted at CNATT DET, Whiting Field that include the NAMP Indoctrination Course (nine weeks) and Naval Aviation Maintenance Programs Management Course (three weeks). The two resident courses of instruction encompass the entire spectrum of Naval and Marine Corps aviation maintenance management as set forth in the NAMP with particular emphasis on the intermediate (I Level) and organizational (O Level) maintenance activities, to include their interface with the supply system as well as other related activities. The curriculum contains a variety of topics ranging from aviation maintenance management to aircraft weight and balance. The Indoctrination Course also includes an additional hands-on lab to assist the students in understanding the planning, communication, and internal aspects of managing both “I” and “O” Level maintenance functions within an I-Level Production Control and O-Level Maintenance Control. This is a structured comprehensive training program to standardize and expand upon the level of expertise of Officers, Senior Enlisted, and DOD civilians. This training is available to senior enlisted aviation maintenance personnel: Navy (E-7 through E-9) and senior marine aviation enlisted (E-7 through E-9) assigned to aviation squadrons, CV/CVN I-Level, MALS, Fleet Readiness Center (FRC), NAVAIR staff and DOD civilians. The A2M2 course facilitated online via NKO is designed to provide senior lieutenant/captains (USMC) (O-3) in zone for promotion and lieutenant commander/major (O-4) U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps maintenance officers (AMOs) the knowledge of logistics support and advanced managerial responsibilities, under conditions of readiness both ashore and afloat in preparation of assignment to senior staff positions at TYCOMs, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMDs) and CVWs. Training is necessary to permit the AMO to transition to the senior position with prior knowledge of what is expected leading to more efficient individual performance earlier in the assignment period. The PAIMDO course is facilitated annually in San Diego or Norfolk and is designed for all Aviation Command Screen Board-slated AIMD officers, and the FRC officer-in-charge, and is equivalent to the Unrestricted Line community PCO course.

Aviation Ordnance Officer Course (MTU-6005)

The Aviation Ordnance Officer Career Progression Course creates a training path, which begins immediately following accession training and culminates in specialized training in preparation for increased levels of responsibility and authority associated with Aviation Ordnance Management. The Ordnance University is divided into three levels of instruction. Level I training is a six-week course intended to build incrementally on previously acquired skills and to provide graduated educational and professional career paths for Aviation Ordnance officers and senior enlisted personnel. This is a structured comprehensive training program to standardize and expand upon the level of expertise of newly commissioned limited duty officers, chief warrant officers and senior enlisted personnel. This course consists of technical, administrative and safety-oriented instruction, which will significantly enhance the professionalism of successful graduates. This instruction covers a wide range of topics designed to provide the student with general knowledge of various areas an Aviation Ordnance officer may manage in his or her career. Level II is a two-week course with instruction targeted at officers and senior enlisted personnel. Focus will be placed on job-related functions that are associated with assignments to Ordnance management billets. This is a structured comprehensive training program to standardize and expand upon the level of expertise of officers, senior enlisted and DOD civilians at their mid-career point. Level III is a two-week course with instruction intended for officers and senior enlisted personnel. Focus will be placed on job-related functions that are associated with assignments to senior ordnance management billets (i.e., TYCOMS, FLTCOMs, Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity, Naval Operational Logistics Support Center, and Washington, D.C., area tours). This is a structured comprehensive training program to standardize and expand upon the level of expertise of officers, senior enlisted and DOD civilians at their upper career point. This training is available to senior enlisted Aviation Ordnance Personnel: Navy (E-6, E-7, E-8 and E-9) assigned to aviation squadrons, LHA/LHD, AOE, CV/CVN, Naval Magazines, Weapons Stations, Surface Combatants, Navy EOD personnel (5336/5337); Marines (E-6, E-7, E-8, and E-9) with a 6531/6541/6591/2311/2336 MOS and DODcivilians.

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