Written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET)
Published: August 12, 2009
Updated: December 2, 2019
The Aircrewman Program is a six-year enlistment program guaranteeing an initial flying assignment as a flight crewmember in fixed wing or helicopter aircraft and provides for training via various Class “A” Schools for a specific service rating within the Naval Aircrewman (AW) general rating. You will undergo some of the most demanding physical training offered by the military services in this program. You must volunteer for flying duty, be capable of passing a Class II swim test, and pass an aviation flight physical. You must be made aware that your entrance physical examination will be verified for flight qualifications at Recruit Training Command and Naval Aircrewman Candidate School (NACCS).
QUALIFICATIONS. You must meet all enlistment eligibility requirements, and the following additional requirements.
- You must have a minimum score of VE+AR+MK+MC=210 or VE+AR+MK+AS=210. Your ASVAB scores will be reviewed upon classification at NACCS to ensure further qualification for a specific source rating.
- You must be 30 years of age or less at the time of accession (date you leave for boot-camp).
- Physical Fitness
- While in Delayed Entry Program, but prior to shipping, Aircrew candidates must pass the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test (PRT) with a score of satisfactory-medium (Good) for your age and gender (refer to chart from OPNAVINST 6110.1). Aircrew candidates shall sign a Hold Harmless Agreement prior to being administered the PRT.
- Drug Usage
- Use of illegal or controlled substances is cause for application disapproval due to the inherently hazardous nature of this program. Drug waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Must be a U.S. citizen.
- Must be a high school graduate.
- Eyes and Vision
- Normal color and depth perception. Vision must correct to 20/20 in both eyes and correction must be worn.
- Hearing Standards
- In accordance with MANMED P-117, Article 15-92, applicants must meet the hearing standards for Student Naval Aviator (SNA) as follows;
Navy Aircrew Hearing Standards Aircrew Hearing Standards Frequency (hz) Decibel (dB) 500 25 1000 25 2000 25 3000 45 4000 55
- No speech impediment: You will test for “reading aloud” if you have a speech impediment or if you have a history of speech therapy or facial fracture. The “Banana Oil” test will be utilized as required in accordance with MANMED P-117 Article 15-95.
- Weight: You must meet aviation duty minimum and maximum nude body weights are 103 pounds and 245 pounds respectively.
- Other Factors: Hay fever, asthma, bee sting/food allergy reaction and chronic motion sickness are disqualifying.
Those applying for aviation programs are held to strict physical standards and therefore are less likely to be recommended for program waivers.
SECURITY CLEARANCE. You must have citizenship and character requirements to be granted a SECRET clearance and meet reliability standards for assignment to the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP as specified in SECNAVINST 5510.30). A complete PRP screen is not required for enlistment.
Aircrew Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) Codes. Men and Women enlisted in the Aircrew program will be assigned to one of the following occupational specialties within the Naval Aircrewman (NOS A500; FTS NOS J150) general rating (active duty and Full Time Support (FTS)): Aircrewman Helicopter (NOS A510), Aircrewman Operator (NOS A520), Aircrewman Mechanical (NOS A530; FTS NOS J154), or Aircrewman Avionics (NOS A550). Assignment to a specific class “A” school for a service rating within the program will be made while assigned to Naval Aircrew Candidate School (NACCS) and will be based on the applicant’s test scores, personal desires, needs of the Navy, and continued eligibility for the Aircrew program.
TRAINING CYCLE. Trainees are normally assigned to Class “A” School immediately after completion of NACCS. The normal training cycle is:
- Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
- Naval Aircrew Candidate School (Pensacola, FL)
- Class “A” School (Pensacola, FL)
- Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) School (San Diego, CA or Brunswick, ME)
- Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) various locales)
- Initial squadron assignment (various locales)
Naval Aircrewman Mechanical (Active NOS A530; FTS NOS J154)
The AWF are members of a fixed wing integrated tactical crew aboard C-2, C-9, C-12, C-20, C-37, C-40, C-130, E-6, and P-3 aircraft. They perform primary in-flight and ground duties as aircraft Flight Engineer/Crew Chief, Loadmaster, Reel Operator, and Aircrew Readiness Manager. AWFs perform aircraft maintenance, weight and balance (W&B) calculations, and aircraft systems rigging, Aircrew administration, Flight/Ground training, cargo movement, Medical Evacuations (MEDEVAC), passenger transport, small arms, and Joint Special Warfare operations. They contribute directly to operations for the purposes of attaining and maintaining the squadron’s aircrew qualifications and certifications, and are knowledgeable of all aircraft systems, passenger and cargo handling, safety procedures and equipment, federal and military regulations for passenger transport, emergency procedures, and aircraft equipment.
Naval Aircrewman (Operator) (NOS A520)
The AWO produce intelligence products for aircrews in support of operations and tactical missions worldwide. They detect, analyze, classify, and track surface and subsurface contacts. AWOs operate an advanced sonar system utilizing sonobuoys, radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), Identification Friend or Foe/Selective Identification Feature (IFF/SIF), and Infrared Detector (IR). They perform aircrew duties that support mission planning, classified material handling, and training. They handle ordnance, inspect acoustic station equipment, and operate mission equipment such as: advanced imaging multi-spectral sensors, radar for safety of flight, and hand-held cameras.
Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) (NOS A510)
The AWS are members of multi-mission helicopter integrated tactical crews. They perform Search And Rescue (SAR) operations, Airborne Mine Countermeasure (AMCM) operations utilizing sonar, magnetic, mechanical, and acoustic minesweeping systems and logistics support. AWSs perform aircrew operations administration, flight and ground training, internal and external cargo movement, Medical Evacuations (MEDEVAC), passenger transport, aerial gunnery, small arms handling, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) insertion and extraction operations, Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP), and Night Vision Device (NVD) operations, and conduct observer duties for safety of flight.
Naval Aircrewman (Avionics) (NOS A550)
The AWV are members of a fixed wing integrated tactical aircrew aboard maritime patrol and reconnaissance, and command and control aircraft. They are knowledgeable of all avionics systems, safety equipment, emergency procedures, and aircraft equipment. AWVs perform primary in-flight and ground duties as aircraft in-flight technicians, Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) specialists, and airborne communicators who maintain and operate aircraft systems. They pilot and maintain Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), operate aerial photographic equipment, and perform aircrew administration, flight and ground training, ordnance handling duties, joint special warfare operations, and Communications Material Security (CMS) handling.
Career Sea – Shore Rotation Chart
Sea tours and shore tours for Sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 ashore until retirement.
Aircrew Rescue Swimmer (AIRR)
Rescue swimmers may be required to risk their lives during a rescue over-land or at-sea. They will be required to enter the open ocean from a hovering helicopter and swim to the survivor. Upon reaching the survivor, the swimmer utilizes appropriate rescue techniques and prepares for hook-up to the rescue hoist. A survivor in a state of panic may force the swimmer underwater, but training and techniques taught to rescue swimmers will allow them to overcome this situation. Once the swimmer and the survivor are in the aircraft, the swimmer provides advanced first aid until medical assistance is available. For additional qualification information about the Aircrew Rescue Swimmer (AIRR), review the Navy Challenge Program information.
ENLISTMENT TERM. You must enlist in the U.S. Navy or in the Full Time Support (FTS) Enlistment Program for four years and concurrently execute an Agreement to Extend Enlistment (NAVPERS 1070/621 or NAVPERS 1070/622) for 24 months using the following narrative reason entry:
“Training in the Aircrewman Program and accelerated advancement to paygrade E4 in accordance with MILPERSMAN Article 1220-010. Accelerated advancement to E4 is authorized only after successful completion of Naval Aircrew Candidate School, Class “A” School, and Fleet Replacement Squadron training. I understand that this extension becomes binding upon execution and thereafter may not be canceled except as set forth in MILPERSMAN Article 1160-040.
AIRCREWMAN PROGRAM SCREENING. For program moral conduct eligibility requirements (if you have prior civil/criminal offenses) see your local Navy Recruiter for type of offenses which may disqualify you or to determine the appropriate waiver authority. Adversely adjudicated drug abuse offenses will not receive waiver consideration with the potential exception of a single misdemeanor charge involving marijuana (only on a case-by-case basis).