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Aviation as a Career in the ANG

100. Where do I get information on the UFT Selection Board for Fiscal Year 2016?

Requirements and a Statement of Agreement and Understanding is available here (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the document):
FY 2016 UFT Selection Board Announcement

 

101. I’ve never heard of the Air National Guard. What exactly are you hiring?

An Air National Guard pilot / navigator is an officer and pilot or navigator in the Air Force component of the National Guard. If selected you will attend the Air Force's Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training / Undergraduate Navigator Training (hereinafter referred to as Undergraduate Flight Training, or UFT), as applicable. Upon completion of training you will return to the Wing that hired you and fly their aircraft. You will incur a part-time obligation ("one weekend a month, two weeks a year") to the Air National Guard, during which time you will be expected to maintain your currency in your aircraft. 
Here are some links with general information about the Air National Guard.
http://www.goang.com
http://www.ang.af.mil

For specific information about the Georgia Air National Guard, contact MSgt. Michelle Babin at 912-966-8109 or visit the GA ANG recruiting Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/recruiting165AW.

 

102. Who is eligible to apply?

The minimum eligibility requirements to be an officer and aviator in the Air National Guard include: 

  • A completed bachelor's degree (any major) from an accredited college or university

  • Be younger than "approximately" 28 at the time of application

  • Good moral character

  • Meet medical standards

  • Be a U.S. citizen

  • Qualifying test scores on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test

  • To be competitive for a pilot slot you need to have actual experience flying an aircraft. Completing your private pilot's license is highly recommended. With little or no actual flying time, you will most likely be considered only for a navigator position.

 

103. Why can’t I just go the recruiter and sign up for a pilot slot?

You will certainly be working with the recruiter during the process. However, by regulation each Air Guard Wing Commander has the authority to establish his/her own process for rated (flying) officer selection. 

There are a couple reasons for this. First, these slots are competitive, and a board provides us the opportunity for quantitative and qualitative comparison of candidates. Second, it allows representation from all the aircraft squadrons--a representative from each aircraft will be sitting on the board. Third, we are selecting the future leaders of the Georgia Air National Guard: we set aside the extra time and effort to coordinate a board in order to maximize our chances of making the best choice.

 

104. How long is the training?

The initial phases of UPT are held at one of three military training bases (Columbus AFB, Mississippi, Laughlin AFB, Texas or Vance AFB, Oklahoma) and lasts approximately one year. UNT is held at Randolph AFB, Texas or NAS Pensacola, Florida and lasts approximately nine months. Further training in the C-130 will be held at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas or Dobbins ARB, Georgia and lasts approximately six months. Additional training, such as Water and Combat survival, will be required prior to full qualification as a pilot or navigator.

 

105. Do I have to go to Basic Training?

If you are not already a commissioned U.S. military officer, you will go to the Academy of Military Science for six weeks of training, where upon graduation you will receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the Reserve of the Air Force.

 

106. Is this a paying job?

Yes. Here's a quote from www.goang.com:

"Compensation: Air Guard members receive monthly paychecks for their service, as well as a number of other pecuniary benefits. Members can rely on insurance coverage, and those choosing to contribute can take advantage of Thrift Savings [a contributory retirement account similar to a 401k/403b] as well. Upon accomplishing the necessary years of service and age requirements, you will be eligible to receive retirement benefits, and all of your previous military time will count towards it." 

In addition to the "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" paid training opportunities provided by the Air National Guard, the National Guard funds additional training periods specifically for the purpose of maintaining flight currency. Currently 12 flying training periods a quarter are authorized, for a total of 48 a year. 

Here's a link to a pay chart for a "drill weekend", the "one weekend a month" of service you can expect to perform once a month.

 

107. Do I have to take any standardized tests?

Yes. You have to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) as well as the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS), formerly known as the BAT test. The Air Force AFOQT is an SAT-style test, and is a prerequisite to taking the TBAS. 

If you are in the military, schedule AFOQT testing through your base training office. If you are not in the military contact the Georgia ANG recruiter, MSgt Michelle Babin at (912) 966-8109 for further information regarding the application process, and to schedule AFOQT/TBAS testing and an initial screening physical.

Historically one of the holdups for the application package has been the AFOQT and TBAS. Plan on an approximate two week lead time (actual lead times may be even longer at your testing location) to schedule the AFOQT, and another two weeks to receive your scores. The AFOQT is a prerequisite for the TBAS. Therefore, obtaining a TBAS score can be a six-week, or even longer, process--plan accordingly. 

You can find information and discussion on testing on websites such as https://pcsm.aetc.af.mil/www.baseops.net, and www.wantscheck.com.

 

108. What’s a PCSM score?

The Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM) is a tool used to predict the ability of a prospective pilot candidate to complete the first portion of Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). The score is on a scale of 1-99, with 99 being the best. The PCSM score is not an all-inclusive pilot selection tool; it is one part of the entire board selection process. The scale remains the same with the new TBAS test. 

To get a PCSM score you must complete the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS), and the Air Force Officer Qualification Test (AFOQT). Once these two steps are completed and the scores received by the PCSM Program Office, a PCSM score will be calculated. 

Visit the program website at https://pcsm.aetc.af.mil/.

 

109. At what rank will I be hired?

Unless you are already a commissioned U.S. military officer, all initial hires will be made in the grade of Second Lieutenant.

 

110. Are any of these jobs full-time jobs?

No, these are all part-time jobs. However, as full-time jobs become available and you are eligible, you can certainly apply. There is no established timeline as to when full-time jobs become available; it depends on the squadron and the manning situation.

 

111. Can I work beyond the minimum and make the Air Guard my primary source of income?

Yes, but the opportunities vary with the specific aircraft you fly as well as with other variables. There is no obligation on the part of the National Guard Bureau to provide additional paid opportunities beyond the 12 drill weekends, two weeks of "annual training", and 48 additional flight training periods in a year. Historically, many of our aviators have been able to work a significant portion of the year, but "past performance is no guarantee" of future work opportunity beyond the minimum.

 

112. Can I live out of state and commute to Georgia?

There is no requirement on where you maintain your residency. However, it would probably be very difficult to maintain your currency and progress in your career if you don't live near the unit. It takes years to become an effective aircrew member, and flying is a perishable skill. Additionally, you will be expected to pursue advanced mission qualifications which are built on a foundation of strong basic mission skills. For these reasons it is not advisable to plan on living out of state.

 

113. What’s the age limit to apply?

By regulation you have to be younger than age 30 on the first day of flight school. Because our board hires for training quotas that will occur approximately 18+ months in the future you need to be younger than 28 when you meet the board.

 

114. Well I know I'm going to be too old. How do I start the age waiver process?

Age waivers will be initiated only for those applicants who have met the board and have been selected for flight training, not before.

 

115. I heard I have to enlist in the Air Guard before I can go to flight school. Is this a trick to trap me in the military?

No, if you are not already in the military, and we hire you for flight school, you will be "enlisted for the purposes of commissioning." This is required so we can start processing you for flight school. You DO NOT have to go to enlisted basic training, and if you end up not going to flight school for some reason, you have the option of getting out with no commitment.

 

116. What if I get hired and then find out I am medically or otherwise ineligible for flight training—do I have an obligation to the military?

No. You have a choice of getting out with no obligation or staying in if you want to.

 

117. What is my obligation if I am hired?

If selected, a military obligation of 10 years for UPT or 6 years for UNT is incurred beginning on the award date of the aeronautical rating. Applicants will be required to sign an affidavit with the Military Personnel Office accepting this obligation. Upon completion of training, pilots or navigators are expected to perform military duties (ground and/or flying) approximately four days a month to maintain currency and minimum training standards, as well as attending monthly Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs) and Annual Tours, as required by the Air National Guard. Opportunities may exist to provide additional ground or flying duties in support of current operations.

 

118. When does my obligation actually start?

Once all the paperwork is completed and a flight school date is identified for you, you will be asked to sign an "Understanding of Military Service Obligation" shortly before you are sent off to flight school. In other words, you will be made aware of exactly when the obligation starts, and for how long it is.

 

119. What if I wash out of flight school? Am I stuck in the military?

No. You were hired to fill a specific vacancy. If you want to leave the military at that point, you can do so.

 

120. What will my duties be?

Initially your primary duty will be flying: gaining experience in your aircraft. As time goes by you will be offered opportunities to take on increasing responsibility in duties related to running and leading a flying Wing. Examples include: scheduling, training, weapons and tactics, standardization and evaluation, Search and Rescue duty officer, and more.

 

121. Why do you guys hold a hiring board for a job that doesn’t start until more than a year and a half later?

Because of the lengthy process to bring you into the military as a rated (flying) officer. To get ready to go to flight school, several things have to happen: you have to pass a flight physical, initiate security clearance paperwork and complete quite a bit of paperwork to apply for a commission (become an officer). The flight physical has to route through quite a few offices, and typically takes months to be approved even if there are no questions or problems. Once it's been ascertained that you are medically eligible to be placed on flight status, you have to assemble a "commissioning package", basically establishing that you are eligible to become an officer and that you have been offered a job which requires that you be an officer. That takes extensive coordination as well. Additionally, the security clearance process typically takes several months. All these items have to clear their respective approval channels before our base training office can look for a flight school class for you. 

For those applicants that are already in the military, with a security clearance, the process is generally much faster. 

It bears pointing out that if you are selected, it is to your benefit to complete all the items as quickly as possible. Once you're cleared as a viable flight school candidate you will be placed in the next available course. That can be sooner than the 18 months that we plan for if other units are not getting their candidates processed as quickly as we do. Fallout slots occur when another Guard unit, or the Air Force, is unable to fill a flight training allocation (a "seat" in flight school). Rather than let it go unfilled, they usually ask around to check for units that have flight candidates ready to go on short notice. If you want to go to flight school as soon as possible, get your package completed as soon as you can to maximize your chances of being on hand to take advantage of a fallout class date. However, you are not obligated to accept a short-notice school date.

 

122. Will you pay for my travel to the Selection Board?

All travel, lodging, meals, and any other expenses are the responsibility of the candidate.

 

123. I submitted my application two months ago and I haven’t heard anything. Why does it take so long to review my application and get back to me? 

We must review the applications, contact candidates to verify information or clarify questions on their applications, and hold meetings to discuss who will be invited to interview. Many of the people involved in this process are themselves aviators, and some of them are not full-time Guard members, so scheduling meetings is by itself a challenge, not to mention the challenges of coordinating between geographically separate locations. Your understanding during this process is very much appreciated.

 

124. I heard navigators have a different age limit.

No, navigators and pilots are governed by the same regulation and have the same age limit: younger than 30 on the first day of flight school.

 

125. What’s a Navigator?

They perform flight duties but do not have control of the aircraft. Typical duties for a 165th AW navigator include mission planning, en-route navigation and airdrop for the C-130H aircraft.

 

126. I heard Navigator jobs are being eliminated.

It is true that many Air Force aircraft are built without navigator positions, and some Air Force aircraft are being updated to eliminate the navigator position. However, the HC-130J (the newest HC-130 model) retains the navigator position. The C-130 is projected to be upgraded without the navigator position after the so-called AMP (Aircraft Modernization Program) upgrade, projected to begin around August of 2017. Based on historical experience, likely choices for existing GAANG C-130 navigators will include finding another Air Guard unit with navigators, applying for pilot training, leaving the service, or finding a non-flying job.

 

127. I heard the Air Guard can grant age/Total Federal Commissioned Service waivers. How do I get one?

The Air Guard can request waivers just like the Air Force can, but it is by no means a routine procedure. Here is the regulatory guidance from Air Force Instruction 36-2205 (Applying for Flying Training) dated 29 October 2004: 

"A2.1.1. For waiver requests to be considered, applicants who exceed the age and/or TFCSD criteria must document that an administrative, counseling, or medical error occurred within the last two years and prevented the applicant from applying for UFT when otherwise fully eligible. Further, commanders must explicitly justify why supporting a waiver for an individual over fully qualified candidates is in the best interest of the Air Force, Air National Guard, or Air Force Reserve. Applicants who have already had at least one opportunity to compete for UFT are generally not approved for a waiver." 

We have been very successful having this waiver approved with past applicants. We do not hesitate to select a well qualified applicant that needs this waiver. However, for the age waiver this means that the ABSOLUTE maximum age is 32 before the first day of flight training, or younger than "approximately" 30 when you meet the board.

 

128. What are the vision requirements?

Bear in mind that medical standards are subject to change. At the time of writing, for pilot uncorrected vision must be 20/70, correctable to 20/20. For navigator, uncorrected must be 20/200, correctable to 20/20. 

A note about PRK and LASIK: ANY eye surgery requires a waiver. Currently, only PRK is approved by the Air Force for unrestricted aviation duty. Consider the following information from http://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/, accessed on 19 April 2009: 

"USAF policy currently disallows RK completely. The procedure involves making eight to 16 radial incisions in the cornea to flatten its radius of curvature. It has largely been abandoned because of potential side effects. 

"PRK and LASIK are allowed with waivers under very specific conditions. For instance, PRK is waiverable for entry into the Air Force including aviator and special duty career fields providing certain criteria are met. However, the Air Force has limited the number of student pilots who can undergo PRK. LASIK still remains a disqualifier for all aviation and special duty programs. However, it can be waived for accession and into certain other career fields not involving aviation and special duties." 

Again, this information is subject to change. 

Also, you should know that if you get surgery, you cannot initiate a flight physical for ONE YEAR after the surgery. This has implications for processing your paperwork should you become selected. For example, if you get surgery around the same time that you interview for the board, you cannot even begin your processing until a year later. Remember, the reason the board is held so far out from your training date is because it really does take a long time to accomplish all the paperwork. By regulation we can't start the rest of your paperwork until your flight physical is completed and approved. In other words, we can't start the first step of a roughly year-long process until the year after your surgery has expired. 

If you delay that process by one year you realistically might not be able to meet the training window you were hired for. We can't "hang on" to your flight school allocation past that window. Talk with someone first if you are considering surgery which could affect your availability for the training window.

 

129. I heard you only hire folks that are already in the unit/have a commercial pilot’s license/have a master’s degree/have a relative in the unit…

There is no typical profile. We strive to hire based on the "whole person" concept. If we hire you, it's because we think you'll be a good officer and aviator, and will contribute to the long-term benefit of the Georgia Air National Guard. Unit members do have an advantage since they have an established track record working with us, but by no means are they guaranteed to be selected.

 

130. How much flying will I do?

Once you complete training, you will be expected--and provided the opportunity--to maintain currency in your aircraft. In addition to the "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" commitment to the Air National Guard, the National Guard funds additional training periods specifically for aircrew for the purpose of maintaining flight currency. Currently 12 flying training periods a quarter are authorized, for a total of 48 a year. This translates into roughly one flight a week. 

Other opportunities occasionally occur, such as taking trips to haul cargo, take part in an exercise, or to hold search and rescue alert. These additional opportunities depend on the squadron and on funding sources.

 

131. I’m an Army Warrant Officer helicopter pilot. How do I become an Air Force pilot?

You fall in the same category of everyone else applying for UFT. You will need to meet the age limit for UFT (younger than 28 at the time of application). You will also need to attend the Academy of Military Science to receive your commission in the Air Guard. If you are selected for fixed-wing pilot training you will go through the identical pipeline of Undergraduate Pilot Training as any other selectee.

 

132. I'm an Army Warrant Officer. In the Army I can apply for a commission without going to OCS. Warrant Officers by definition have commissions. Are you SURE I have to attend AMS? 

Yes. 

Reference: ANGI 36-2005, "APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS IN THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD OF THE UNITED STATES AND AS RESERVES OF THE AIR FORCE", 15 March 2005: 

"3.9.2. Warrant officers must attend AMS and will be enlisted in the grade of Staff Sergeant (E5), or highest enlisted grade held whichever is higher."

 

133. I'm a Navy/Army/Marine Corps/USCG officer--I don't have to take the AFOQT do I?

Yes. If you were transferring to a non-rated Air Force job you would not be required to take the AFOQT. However, officer applicants from other branches of the service are required to take the AFOQT if they are applying for flight training.

Reference: AFI 36-2005, "APPOINTMENT IN COMMISSIONED GRADES AND DESIGNATION AND ASSIGNMENT IN PROFESSIONAL CATEGORIES -- RESERVE OF THE AIR FORCE AND UNITED STATES AIR FORCE," 19 May 2003, 3.4.1.1.2.

 

134. I’m on Active Duty. Will you guys help me out with Palace Chase so I can go to pilot training?

No. We do not initiate Palace Chase on anyone's behalf. You have to be available to provide enough time to inprocess into the Georgia Air Guard (approximately six months to a year) and to go to flight training for the specified fiscal year.

 

135. I'm an Air Force/Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard fixed-wing military Pilot/Aviator/NFO/RIO/Navigator/CSO/WSO/EWO. How do I join your unit?

Contact Col. Hal Davis at harold.davis@ang.af.mil.

 

999. UFT Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: This information represents a good faith effort to explain the Georgia Air National Guard Undergraduate Flight Training selection process and criteria. However, this should NOT be considered a source document for specific regulations--the information reflects regulations which are subject to change. If any information contained in this document conflicts with Air Force/Air National Guard/other pertinent regulations, the regulations will always take precedence. Any reference to an external Website does not constitute endorsement by the Georgia Air National Guard.