Students report to Training Air Wing TWO upon completion of primary flight training and immediately begin nearly 13 months of training here at NAS Kingsville. Training begins in the Ground Training Department and consists of 3-weeks of classroom instruction.
Students attend classes on subjects that include Engineering (T-45), Aerodynamics, Meteorology, Flight Rules and Regulations, and Instrument Navigation. During this ground school training SNAs also begin simulator events that teach them capabilities and systems in the T-45 Goshawk and how to deal with malfunctions of those systems.
The T-45 Total System Strike Flight Curriculum is comprised of 16 flight stages. During these 16 stages students will fly approximately 156 hours. This includes nearly 47 hours of solo flight time. Students will also fly approximately 96 hours in aircraft simulators before they complete the syllabus.
The first eight stages of training are designed to introduce the Student Naval Aviator to jet aircraft and provide a basis for future stages of training. They include Instrument training, Jet Familiarization flights, Formation flights, Night Familiarization flights, and Land-Based Carrier Qualifications.
During these stages of training the students are qualified to fly solo in the T-45 in all-weather conditions, learn to fly in two- and four-plane formation flights, and learn how to land the T-45 the same way they will on an aircraft carrier. The later stages of training introduce the student to the strike community with Operational Navigation in which the students learn to plan and fly low level flight routes.
They also fly Weapons, Guns, and Air Combat maneuvers, which introduces the student to different offensive weapons and tactics. In the Weapons stage, the students drop 25 lb. practice bombs at a target range near Kingsville. They also practice Gunnery and Air Combat Maneuvers with other aircraft while a camera mounted in the cockpit records the encounters.
These stages prepare the students for the tactical jets that they will be flying when they leave Kingsville for the Fleet.
The syllabus culminates in the second Carrier Qualification Stage, when the students travel to an active aircraft carrier to complete their Carrier Qualification and make their first carrier landings. All students must carrier-qualify by completing 14 landings and 10 arrested landings aboard an active aircraft carrier at sea before they can earn their Wings of Gold and the designation as Naval Aviators. Once students earn their wings, they will move on to a Fleet Replacement Squadron to learn their Fleet aircraft. Fleet Replacement Squadrons, often referred to as “The Rag,” are located throughout the country based on the type of aircraft the pilot is awarded upon completion of flight training.