Spec ops aviation unit seeks mechanics, others

Ravage

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http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/...seeks-mechanics-112812/#.ULYY66QVIXQ.facebook

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Calling all Chinook mechanics: The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment wants you.
The 160th, the Army’s elite special operations aviation unit, needs 100 to 125 CH-47 repairers to join its ranks this fiscal year.

“We are critically short 15Us,” said Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Wilson, from the 160th, which is based at Fort Campbell, Ky. “We haven’t, in the last seven to eight years, been full on 15U.”

The regiment also is seeking hundreds of applicants for a variety of military occupational specialties — from unmanned aerial vehicle maintainers and operators to electricians — to join its ranks.
“It sounds like small numbers, but we don’t have a lot of [these soldiers], so when we come up short, it gets critical,” Wilson said.

Soldiers in the 160th can get re-enlistment bonuses, Wilson said. For example, E-4s who qualify have been receiving about $10,000, on average, which is paid after they graduate from Enlisted Green Platoon.

The regiment, which has more than 2,200 enlisted personnel, is always seeking qualified applicants in 56 MOSs, Wilson said. This year, it is focusing on six:
• 15U — CH-47 repairer.
• 15N — avionic mechanic.
• 15F — aircraft electrician.
• 15G — aircraft structural repairer.
• 15E — unmanned aircraft systems repairer.
• 15W — unmanned aerial vehicle operator.

This marks the first time the regiment is seeking UAV repairers and operators, Wilson said.
“We’re standing up two companies, and we’re looking for all interested applicants up to E-7,” he said.
The regiment typically doesn’t accept applications from soldiers who are staff sergeants or higher, but because the UAV units are new, Wilson and his team are trying to widen the candidate pool.
For the other MOSs, the regiment is seeking specialists and sergeants with one operational assignment under their belts, Wilson said.

However, newly promoted staff sergeants with less than one year time-in-grade should apply if they’re interested, Wilson said.

“Our target group is E-4, E-5, but we will review E-6s,” he said. “We don’t deter anyone from applying. The problem is, it takes so long to train someone. If they’re making E-7, we can’t take them. We have a lot of E-6s [in the regiment], but we can only have so many E-7s. We don’t want to spend all this time training an E-6 only to lose them.”

Sergeant first class slots within the regiment are highly coveted and very limited, Wilson said.
“We lose a lot of very experienced soldiers,” he said, adding that the enlisted force in the 160th sees 12 percent to 15 percent attrition each year.

“We work with [Human Resources Command] to keep them, but the Army needs those E-7s,” he said. “We can try to hoard them all we want, but that means some unit going on deployment needs that E-7.”

Soldiers who apply and are selected to join the regiment must complete Enlisted Green Platoon, a five-week program at Fort Campbell.

“Green Platoon is the first step in becoming a Night Stalker,” said Wilson, using the moniker for soldiers in the 160th. “If, during that time, they quit or don’t demonstrate the proper motivation that we’re looking for, they can be reassigned depending on the needs of the Army.”
On average, about 59 percent of the soldiers who are assigned a training seat for Enlisted Green Platoon will graduate, he said.

Once soldiers graduate from Enlisted Green Platoon, they typically attend follow-on training programs to learn about the special operations equipment used in the regiment, Wilson said.
For example, CH-47 repairers can expect 26 to 27 weeks of follow-on training. This includes the regiment’s Basic Maintainers Course, the Nonrated Crew Member Course, Helicopter Underwater Egress Training, and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training.

HOW TO APPLY

Go to the 160th SOAR’s website for an application form or for more information.
It takes an average of four weeks after applying to hear back from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, said Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Wilson.

It usually takes at least three to four months before a soldier who is accepted receives orders, he said.
To qualify, soldiers must:
• Have a General Technical score of 100 or more.
• Be able to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test, and they cannot have a permanent profile.
• Be U.S. citizens who can obtain and maintain a secret clearance and be financially stable.
• Have at least 36 months of service remaining on their contracts or be willing to re-enlist to join the regiment.[/quote\
 

Marauder06

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I would have LOVED to have had organic UAVs when I was an S2 in the 160th.

Don't SF Groups have a UAV unit organic now as well? Thought I read an article on that. If they don't have one, they should.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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I would have LOVED to have had organic UAVs when I was an S2 in the 160th.

Don't SF Groups have a UAV unit organic now as well? Thought I read an article on that. If they don't have one, they should.

When I was there, I hadn't heard of any specific UAV unit. We had guys on the ODAs and ODB that were Raven pilots (or in the process of getting qualified). That's about as far as we had gotten. Not sure how it is on the AD side.
 

Swill

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I would have LOVED to have had organic UAVs when I was an S2 in the 160th.

Don't SF Groups have a UAV unit organic now as well? Thought I read an article on that. If they don't have one, they should.

They belong to SF, essentially. USASOC owned, intended for TSOCs ("only!"). SOAR just keeps 'em flying. The MI guys got excited when we first heard about 'em because we thought it would command opportunities. Nope. Have to be a pilot.

PM inbound for some more back story. :D
 

Rapid

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Does anyone else want to pilot a UAV for a day and just bomb the shit out of some targets (preferably in Pakistan)? Can anyone hook me up? At the very least, let me pull the trigger a few times.

I'll bring my portable MP3 speakers and loop "Highway to the Dangerzone" the whole time.
 

Marauder06

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They belong to SF, essentially. USASOC owned, intended for TSOCs ("only!"). SOAR just keeps 'em flying. The MI guys got excited when we first heard about 'em because we thought it would command opportunities. Nope. Have to be a pilot.

PM inbound for some more back story. :D

Thank you for that PM. Very educational. And, IMO, "typical." ;-)
 

Marauder06

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Does anyone else want to pilot a UAV for a day and just bomb the shit out of some targets (preferably in Pakistan)? Can anyone hook me up? At the very least, let me pull the trigger a few times.

I'll bring my portable MP3 speakers and loop "Highway to the Dangerzone" the whole time.

Nah, too much chance of PTSD, compared to what we normally do for a living. Plus there's the "residual risk" involved. Can't forget about that.
 

AWP

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Surely you picked up the sarcasm and epic crossthread winningness of my previous post?

Indeed I did, hence the use of "YOLO" and my almost patented "..." to indicate only the driest of delivery and sarcasm.

Now, under "professional development" I'd like to offer the following constructive criticism: I think your post would carry more punch had it included mention of a new award, medal, or "bling" for those traumatized UAV pilots, an award to recognize their sacrifice and shared danger while in a climate controlled trailer an hour or so away from Vegas.

None of this ultimately matters because at the rate amlove21 is progressing you and I will be out of a job soon enough anyway, our commentary neither witty nor funny.
 

amlove21

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Indeed I did, hence the use of "YOLO" and my almost patented "..." to indicate only the driest of delivery and sarcasm.

Now, under "professional development" I'd like to offer the following constructive criticism: I think your post would carry more punch had it included mention of a new award, medal, or "bling" for those traumatized UAV pilots, an award to recognize their sacrifice and shared danger while in a climate controlled trailer an hour or so away from Vegas.

None of this ultimately matters because at the rate amlove21 is progressing you and I will be out of a job soon enough anyway, our commentary neither witty nor funny.
Let me put a little real world twist on this, and illustrate the lengths of which I will go to illustrate this UAV double standard/medals/PTSD thing.

Lots of times, UAV's (actually referred to as RPA or Remote Powered Aircraft), have trouble like any other plane. Engine trouble, lost computer link, etc. Well, Pararescue teams are tasked with the recovery of sensitive items. Ipso facto, we get the call every time one of these things might crash into something. So, an entire SOF team and SOF Enabler team get woken up because these things limp home, and almost every time they make it home with no issue. Well, except that we stay up for 8 hours watching it fly home without incident.

Well, we started a little joke. We take one PJ and make him run, in full kit, to the trailer where the actual pilot sits. Sometimes we call, sometimes we show up in person- but every single time something happens, we send someone for the "pilot". This was hilarous the first, I don't know, 40 times? Some RPA pilots have not found it funny. The solution? Our commander, in hilarious straight faced seriousness said, "Hey, they want in the game, they play by the rules. No plane goes down without the pilot being saved by a GA Team."

We do this every time. We take their job very, very seriously.
 
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