CNATRA conducts six Student Naval Aviator training pipelines - Strike, Rotary, Maritime, Tilt-rotor, E-2/C-2 , and E-6. The foundation of a Naval Aviator's development begins in the Primary phase of training. Primary training is conducted in the T-6B at VT-27 or VT-28 at Training Air Wing FOUR and VT-2, VT-3 or VT-6 at Training Air Wing FIVE.
The T-6B replaced the T-34C Turbo Mentor as the primary training aircraft in April 2015. Its digital avionics provides fighter-type maneuverability with a modern glass cockpit including a head-up display, up-front control panel, multi-function displays, hands-on throttle and stick, and a global positioning system with wide-area augmentation system and required navigation performance. The T-6B cockpit and avionics suite is designed to better facilitate the transition to increasingly sophisticated follow-on training and fleet aircraft, as well as keep pace with emerging air traffic control regulations.
Intermediate and Advanced Strike training is conducted in the T-45C Goshawk at VT-7 or VT-9 at Training Air Wing ONE, NAS Meridian, MS, or VT-21 or VT-22 at Training Air Wing TWO, Kingsville, TX. This syllabus is the foundation upon which all future tailhook aviators begin to build their experience.
The Strike pipeline fills fleet seats for the FA-18C/D Hornet and E/F Superhornet, EA-18G Growler, AV-8B Harrier, and EA-6B Prowler in the Navy and Marine Corps. F-35B/C Lightning II pilots will also come from the Strike pipeline.
Student Naval Aviators selected for the E-2/C-2 pipeline at the completion of primary flight training report to Training Air Wing FOUR for multi-engine training in the T-44C. Upon completion, students will report to TRAWING One or TRAWING Two to complete a syllabus that will culminate in T-45C carrier qualification prior to reporting to VAW-120 in Norfolk, VA.
Upgrades to the T-45C digital configuration are underway and all student naval aviators now receive training in a technologically advanced cockpit to prepare them for fleet digital / glass cockpit aircraft. The T-45C is planned to meet CNATRA's Strike training requirements through 2035.
Rotary and intermediate Tilt-Rotor training is conducted in the TH-57B and C Sea Ranger at HT-8, HT-18 and HT-28 at Training Air Wing FIVE. The rotary pipeline provides fundamental and advanced rotary skills for Student Naval Aviators selected for fleet service in the AH-1 Cobra, UH-1 Huey, H-53 Sea Stallion, H-60 Seahawk series, HH-65 Dolphin, and MH-68 Sting Ray in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Marine students designated for the MV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor receive intermediate Rotary training at Training Air Wing FIVE and then report to Training Air Wing FOUR for Multi-engine training in the T-44 before receiving their wings..
Maritime and Advanced Tilt-Rotor training is conducted in the T-44C Pegasus at VT-31 and VT-35 in Training Air Wing FOUR. The Maritime Patrol and advance Tilt-Rotor pipelines provide foundational training for student Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard aviators selected to fill fleet seats in the P-3C Orion, P-8 Poseidon, C-130 Hercules, E-6B Mercury, HC-44 Ocean Sentry, E-2C/D Hawkeye, C-2A Greyhound, MV-22 Osprey, and C-12 Huron.
Training Air Wing FOUR has converted analog T-44As to digital T-44Cs which is the perfect lead-in trainer for the digital / glass cockpit P-8 Poseidon, MV-22 Osprey, E6-B Mercury, and C-130J Hercules aircraft. High fidelity T-44C visual simulators will follow the upgrade which will enable the perfect mix of ground and air training.
CNATRA conducts four NFO training pipelines - Strike Fighter, Airborne Early Warning (AEW), Maritime Patrol (MPR), and Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO). Training for all four NFO pipelines is conducted at Training Air Wing SIX at NAS Pensacola, Florida. All NFOs begin their Primary training at VT-10 in the T-6A Texan II, learning the basic skills of aviation, visual and instrument navigation, and communications. The training consists of academics, navigation and communication trainers, high fidelity simulators, and instrument, navigation, and formation flights. Students selected for land-based aircraft (MPR and TACAMO) move on to Advanced training at VT-4, while carrier-based students (Strike Fighter and AEW) receive additional T-6A training. Students selected for Strike Fighter move on to Advanced training at VT-86, while AEW students proceed to VT-4.
Advanced Training at VT-4 and VT-86 provides tactical training to student NFOs that tests and prepares them for their future fleet aircraft. Upon completion of Advanced training, NFOs receive their wings of gold and move on to their respective Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS).
MPR, TACAMO, and AEW students receive Advanced training at VT-4 utilizing the Multi Crew Simulator (MCS). The MCS is a reconfigurable trainer that allows students to learn how to employ the systems and tactics of their fleet aircraft in real world mission scenarios with multiple crew members and multiple aircraft. Training focuses on Crew Resource Management (CRM), communications, and sensor utilization while learning tactical procedures for various missions. Students learn how to utilize RADAR (including Synthetic Aperture and Inverse Synthetic Aperture), Data Links, Electro-Optic/Infra-Red cameras, Electronic Surveillance, acoustic, and navigation and communications systems.
MPR students utilize these systems to perform Anti-Surface and Anti-Submarine Warfare, Electronic Warfare, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Search and Rescue missions. Upon graduation, NFOs continue to VP-30 in Jacksonville, FL for training in the P-3C, EP-3E, or P-8A.
TACAMO students learn complex communications protocols, prioritization and CRM skills that prepare them for training in the E-6B at VQ-7 in Oklahoma City, OK.
AEW students learn Command and Control and Air Intercept Control, and after graduation move on to VAW-120 in Norfolk, VA for training in the E-2C or E-2D.
Strike Fighter NFO training is conducted at VT-86 utilizing specially modified T-45C simulators and aircraft incorporating the Virtual Mission Training System (VMTS). VMTS allows for NFOs to train for air-to-air or air-to-ground missions using a synthetic RADAR that mirrors the capability of the F/A-18. Utilizing a data link network and an instructor ground station, students perform complex missions against multiple air and surface targets. NFOs train for Strike, Close Air Support, and All Weather Intercept missions. After graduation, Navy NFOs will train in the F/A-18F with either VFA-106 in Virginia Beach, VA or VFA-122 in Lemoore, CA, or the EA-18G with VAQ-129 in Whidbey Island, WA. Marine Corps NFOs will train in the F/A-18D with VMFAT-101 in Miramar, CA.