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Flyingforce

Accepted a CSO slot

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After much thought and discussion, after getting on the ad alternate pilot list I decided to accept a CSO slot. Though not pilot, I'm just excited to be in a rated career field flying in a plane, wearing a flight suit, and dropping bombs ;). With this being said, I've been trying to find more information, with no luck on what the future of the career field is? Are there any new jets being created with two seats. Seems like all the new jets are single seaters. Also, what should I expect when I get to Pensacola? I'm 26 so I'm hoping to live off base.  Any and all information would be great! I'm really excited to actually be in a plane! 

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2 minutes ago, Flyingforce said:

After much thought and discussion, after getting on the ad alternate pilot list I decided to accept a CSO slot. Though not pilot, I'm just excited to be in a rated career field flying in a plane, wearing a flight suit, and dropping bombs ;). With this being said, I've been trying to find more information, with no luck on what the future of the career field is? Are there any new jets being created with two seats. Seems like all the new jets are single seaters. Also, what should I expect when I get to Pensacola? I'm 26 so I'm hoping to live off base.  Any and all information would be great! I'm really excited to actually be in a plane! 

I don't know about jets with two seats (like the F-15E), but the B-1 should be flying until 2040 according to the last bomber roadmap, and we'd be happy to have you.

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AC-130J is just coming on line with 2x CSO seats. Will likely be flying for your entire career plus. The U-28 is relatively new still (although it may run out of service life sooner rather than later due to use), and its replacement will almost certainly have CSOs as well. The AF may be buying light attack jets (A-29 or Scorpion) that will probably have CSOs.

BL: your potential career as a CSO is bright...just look at B-52s, flying with navs and WSOs since you're grandpa was in a flight suit!

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3 hours ago, nsplayr said:

look at B-52s, flying with navs and WSOs since you're grandpa was in a flight suit!

Unless something changed there are no WSOs on the Buff - they would have to be qualified on every seat in the aircraft (I think AFGSC has done dual qual but not triple)

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4 hours ago, nsplayr said:

AC-130J is just coming on line with 2x CSO seats. Will likely be flying for your entire career plus.

BL: your potential career as a CSO is bright...just look at B-52s, flying with navs and WSOs since you're grandpa was in a flight suit!

Depending on what your flavor is, the AC-J has one CSO and one WSO (both come from UNT, UCT or whatever they're calling it now). The jobs are not the same, but there are cool aspects to both. 

nsplayr is absolutely correct though - CSOs aren't going anywhere anytime soon. You've got a good smattering of different MDS' that you can drop, with some very different missions across the board. As far as what each mission/MDS life looks like, check out the thread titled "How do you feel about your airframe and mission?" 

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On 2/24/2017 at 8:34 PM, Flyingforce said:

After much thought and discussion, after getting on the ad alternate pilot list I decided to accept a CSO slot. Though not pilot, I'm just excited to be in a rated career field flying in a plane, wearing a flight suit, and dropping bombs ;). With this being said, I've been trying to find more information, with no luck on what the future of the career field is? Are there any new jets being created with two seats. Seems like all the new jets are single seaters. Also, what should I expect when I get to Pensacola? I'm 26 so I'm hoping to live off base.  Any and all information would be great! I'm really excited to actually be in a plane! 

I'll see you at Pensacola boss.

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2 hours ago, magnetfreezer said:

Unless something changed there are no WSOs on the Buff - they would have to be qualified on every seat in the aircraft (I think AFGSC has done dual qual but not triple)

Global Strike decided about a year and change ago to rebrand all the offenders as WSOs because supposedly "nobody knows what a radar nav is but everybody knows what a WSO is and WSOs promote better...".  Whatever....I still think of my self as a radar nav.  Our defense guys are still Electronic Warfare Officers, or "E-Dubs" for short. 

To the OP's question, the Buff, barring something entirely unforeseen, isn't going anywhere any time soon.  My kid could fly the same jet I'm flying.  There has been talk batted around the community of going from three smash-bug-wing types to two, but  there is no way a Buff will ever fly with no 12s onboard, and we're likely to be in service possibly as far out as 2050.  As for other platforms, from what I understand, AFSOC lobbied very strongly to keep CSOs/WSOs/EWs on all their various new J model variants, so plenty of job security there, too. 

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There's also capabilities to do exchange tours as well.  Buddy of mine is an F-15E WSO by trade currently flying with the Navy in the EA-18G.  So definitely lots of neat opportunities out there.  Also just saw they have Instructor WSO slots at IFF now (only saw one at KRND last time I looked).

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18 hours ago, nsplayr said:

AC-130J is just coming on line with 2x CSO seats. Will likely be flying for your entire career plus. The U-28 is relatively new still (although it may run out of service life sooner rather than later due to use), and its replacement will almost certainly have CSOs as well. The AF may be buying light attack jets (A-29 or Scorpion) that will probably have CSOs.

BL: your potential career as a CSO is bright...just look at B-52s, flying with navs and WSOs since you're grandpa was in a flight suit!

Well, I hope the U28 is here a little longer than not. I just dropped it out of UCT.

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34 minutes ago, Sosa1504 said:

Well, I hope the U28 is here a little longer than not. I just dropped it out of UCT.

It'll be around for a while...the plan to replace it has been tumultuous. At some point though we'll fly the wings off of 'em, so hopefully the replacement happens before that point.

Even though the replacement talk is still a pipe dream, I wouldn't worry about it - that follow-on SOF manned ISR platform will have a CSO on it. AFSOC is a good place to be a CSO for sure as others have pointed out - AC-J, MC-J and SOF manned ISR will be around for the indefinite future.

Congrats on your drop, let me know if you have any questions about the community and send me a PM when you start at the 19th.

Edited by nsplayr

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On 2/25/2017 at 9:31 PM, 08Dawg said:

Global Strike decided about a year and change ago to rebrand all the offenders as WSOs because supposedly "nobody knows what a radar nav is but everybody knows what a WSO is and WSOs promote better...".  Whatever....I still think of my self as a radar nav.  Our defense guys are still Electronic Warfare Officers, or "E-Dubs" for short. 

To the OP's question, the Buff, barring something entirely unforeseen, isn't going anywhere any time soon.  My kid could fly the same jet I'm flying.  There has been talk batted around the community of going from three smash-bug-wing types to two, but  there is no way a Buff will ever fly with no 12s onboard, and we're likely to be in service possibly as far out as 2050.  As for other platforms, from what I understand, AFSOC lobbied very strongly to keep CSOs/WSOs/EWs on all their various new J model variants, so plenty of job security there, too. 

Still no 12B bonus, though.

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19 hours ago, Disco_Nav963 said:

Except in the Reserves :-)

It only halfway makes up for the pain of being a GS-12 to the IP's GS-13...

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14 hours ago, 08Dawg said:

It only halfway makes up for the pain of being a GS-12 to the IP's GS-13...

Only a problem if you're a Technician...

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On 3/2/2017 at 11:46 AM, Disco_Nav963 said:

Only a problem if you're a Technician...

TR slots for all my friends!

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On 3/1/2017 at 9:26 PM, 08Dawg said:

It only halfway makes up for the pain of being a GS-12 to the IP's GS-13...

And working 14 days in a row.  A couple of my reservist brethren keep trying to sell me on it, but then they're in the office all week, through the UTA weekend, and all the next week.  No thanks, the Air Force has already taken enough of my weekends without my complicity.

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6 hours ago, pawnman said:

And working 14 days in a row.  A couple of my reservist brethren keep trying to sell me on it, but then they're in the office all week, through the UTA weekend, and all the next week.  No thanks, the Air Force has already taken enough of my weekends without my complicity.

Our ARTs tend to take leave the Monday after a UTA...

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23 hours ago, pawnman said:

And working 14 days in a row.  A couple of my reservist brethren keep trying to sell me on it, but then they're in the office all week, through the UTA weekend, and all the next week.  No thanks, the Air Force has already taken enough of my weekends without my complicity.

My ART sister calls it the "Dirty Dozen."

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On April 26, 2018 at 5:41 PM, Duck said:


We call Navs in the fighter community helmet bag carriers. So just ask are you a Nav or are you a helmet bag carrier? It’s less offensive to those guys.

Negative. Who is "we"?  Navs in the fighter community are WSOs. Each man, front or back seat, carries his own helmet.

Everyone asking questions about another community probably shouldn't get advice from someone outside said community. 

Edited by Mike Honcho

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Sarcasm detector function check needed.

Man. I guess I got to delete that comment. It sure was fun messing with ole Hopeful though.

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Negative. Who is "we"?  Navs in the fighter community are WSOs. Each man, front or back seat, carries his own helmet.
Everyone asking questions about another community probably shouldn't get advice from someone outside said community. 

Oh Honcho...

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14 hours ago, Mike Honcho said:

Negative. Who is "we"?  Navs in the fighter community are WSOs. Each man, front or back seat, carries his own helmet.

Everyone asking questions about another community probably shouldn't get advice from someone outside said community. 

image.png.b277d6d3ea31428a71d2667b0500d80c.png

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Valid. I’m trying to learn how to stay away from my phone while boozing. It’s a work in progress. 

Edited for spelling. 

Edited by Mike Honcho

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Valid. I’m trying to learn how to stay away from my phone while boozing. It’s a work in progress. 
Edited for spelling. 

All good brother!

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